The Digital Ecosystem Country Assessment (DECA), a flagship initiative of the Digital Strategy, identifies opportunities and risks in a country’s digital ecosystem to help the development, design, and implementation of USAID’s strategies, projects, and activities. It informs USAID Missions and other key decision-makers about how to better understand, work with, and support a country’s digital ecosystem. 

The Guatemala DECA report presents the findings and recommendations of the Guatemala DECA. It outlines the key aspects of Guatemala’s digital ecosystem and provides nine recommendations for creating a more inclusive, safe, and enabling environment. Guided by USAID/Guatemala priorities: i) partner with the Government of Guatemala and other stakeholders to increase economic prosperity, inclusion, and stability in areas with high irregular migration; ii) partner with the Government of Guatemala and other stakeholders to strengthen effective and accountable governance to improve quality of life and reduce irregular migration; and iii) partner with the Government of Guatemala and other stakeholders to improve justice and security to reduce irregular migration, the DECA process included desk research, consultations with USAID/Guatemala technical offices, 76 key informant interviews with stakeholders from civil society, academia, and the private and public sectors, and five focus group discussions with USAID project participants. 

Key findings include:

  • Guatemala does not have a central strategy or policy for the digitalization of government services or systems.
  • While Guatemala is home to relatively high network coverage, gaps in internet use remain and innovative solutions face regulatory barriers. 
  • The digital divide persists across gender, geography, income, education and literacy, and ethnicity, and was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Digital rights are insufficiently protected and disinformation and harassment are present in the online space.
  • Over the last decade, the Government of Guatemala adopted long-term policies to support the development of the digital economy; progress is unclear but data show there has been some impact on financial inclusion.
  • Although in its early days, there is unprecedented growth in Guatemala’s startup ecosystem, specifically FinTech. 

USAID’s Digital Strategy charts an Agency-wide approach to development in a rapidly evolving digital age. Building on decades of USAID leadership in digital development, the Strategy outlines USAID’s deliberate and holistic commitment to improve development and humanitarian assistance outcomes through the use of digital technology and to strengthen open, inclusive, and secure digital ecosystems.

Read the Guatemala DECA (Spanish).

Read the Guatemala DECA Country Snapshot (English).

Read the Guatemala DECA Country Snapshot (Spanish).