E-Lancing in Latin America and the Caribbean: How to connect digital talent with global opportunities

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Mar 2022
Digital platforms have revolutionized labor markets across the globe, transforming how we work and offering opportunities for workers with a diverse range of profiles. Remote working platforms or e-lancing platforms connect freelancers with clients anywhere in the world. This means that new income-generating mechanisms are emerging that may be especially attractive for groups of the population that often face barriers in finding traditional employment, such as women, youth, migrants, and people with disabilities.
This publication gathers the insights obtained in the implementation of a pilot program in El Salvador, aimed at understanding how to connect youths in the region with these types of opportunities. Participants of this program had access to theoretical content and practical exercises designed to develop the skills required to work on these platforms, including creating profiles, preparing proposals, and managing projects. Participants also had access to tutors who monitored their progress and supported them in preparing their proposals, which turned out to be a key element in the success of the program. In total, the participants submitted more than one thousand proposals, working with clients in countries as diverse as Germany, the United States and Vietnam.
How will Latin America and the Caribbean take advantage of these opportunities and position itself within this new labor dynamic? It will depend on the policies adopted around platforms of e-lancing. This publication sheds light on the actions that can be taken to improve opportunities for workers in this ecosystem. Firstly, governments must increase access to information and communication technologies (ICT) and expand training in digital skills. In addition, positioning strategies are needed so that individuals and companies understand the potential of these platforms. In turn, these strategies must be accompanied by training programs that support people in developing the skills required to succeed. It is also important to increase financial inclusion, modernize labor regulations to ensure the protection of e-lancers, and encourage research to build further understanding of the impact of these platforms on the productive development of the region.