Digitalization and e-government in the lives of urban migrants: evidence from Bogotá

Martin-Shields, Charles / Sonia Camacho / Rodrigo Taborda / Constantin Ruhe
External Publications (2022)

in: Policy & Internet 14 (2), 450-467

Open access

Research on the role of information and communication technologies (ICT) to improve the lives of migrants is a growing field. However, studies in this area have been conducted mainly in wealthy countries, with municipalities that are capable of supporting migrants or refugees. There is less evidence from middle-income host countries and how ICTs can help migrants in their resettlement efforts. To address this gap, this study examines ICT access and the use of e-government services by Venezuelan migrants in Colombia and compares this group with short- and long-term residents of Bogotá. The descriptive analysis of the data reveals that, after controlling for demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, foreign migrants are less likely to own ICT devices compared to short- and long-term residents, but over time do acquire ICT access. In addition, Venezuelan migrants are less likely to use e-government services than their local peers even after controlling for demographic characteristics and internet access, with the exception of address registration. The results indicate that ICT access is not a sufficient condition for migrants to access e-government services and there is a need for policy coordination to reduce bureaucratic “red tape” that may diminish migrants’ likelihood of accessing to e-government services.

About the authors

Martin-Shields, Charles

Political Science


Ruhe, Constantin

Political Scientist

Further experts

Breuer, Anita

Political Scientist 

Christ, Simone

Social Anthropology 

Eberz, Isabelle

Cultural Science 

Ekoh, Susan S.

Environmental Research 

Flaig, Merlin

Social Science 

Jaji, Rose


Kachelmann, Matthias

Political Science 

Kuhnt, Jana

Development Economist 

Stewart, Benjamin

Social Science 

Wisskirchen, Alma

Political Science