Background Paper N°6 - GEPR working paper series

E-formalization: The Colombian experience

Background paper for the Global Employment Policy Review (GEPR), Second edition (forthcoming).

This paper describes several Colombian e-formalization initiatives and discusses its progress and challenges. These initiatives have been implemented as part of a broader digital government strategy aimed at simplifying procedures to improve public services and reduce transaction costs. These processes have taken time, but they have achieved important results in terms of coverage, although there is still much to do. Key elements for this to happen are the digitalization policy, on the one hand, and the formalization strategy, on the other. Interviews with beneficiaries reveal that policies of e-formalization are well received, but informality has additional barriers that should be addressed. It is also important to better promote these policies because the services are not well known. In addition, the participation of beneficiaries in committees to monitor the policies is important to validate and adjust the initiatives.