Under the PRODIGEES programme (Promoting Research On Digitalisation In Emerging Powers and Europe Towards Sustainable Development), Dr Anita Breuer joined IDOS partner Instituto Mora in Mexico City as a guest researcher.
From January to mid-February, Dr Anita Breuer investigated the topic of “Information integrity and pollution: Vulnerabilities, drivers and impacts on democracy and social cohesion in Mexico” at Instituto Mora in Mexico. Access to reliable and integer public information is crucial for peaceful and well-governed societies. Yet, digitalisation poses challenges to information integrity. The internet offers countless possibilities to disseminate false, misleading and manipulated information for financial, political or ideological gain. Such “polluted” information has the potential to erode citizen trust in democratic processes and drive societal polarization. Understanding the root causes of information pollution and identifying approaches to counter it thus constitute important contributions to peaceful and sustainable societies.
During her stay, Dr Breuer conducted interviews and engaged with diverse actors from Mexico’s digital eco-system, including media professionals, academics, public officials and members of civil society organizations in the field of freedom of expression and data protection. Among her activities was a visit to Guadalajara, where she met with IDOS MGG alumnus David Bates to learn about Visor Urbano, an e-government initiative in the Mexican state of Jalisco that seeks to tackle corruption in urban development through open data and citizen empowerment. Dr Breuer presented preliminary findings of her research during a hybrid discussion event in Spanish language, jointly organised by IDOS, Instituto Mora and Visor Urbano on “Access to information and open data: Benefits and challenges for Mexican society” that is available on the Facebook channel of Instituto Mora: https://www.facebook.com/Institutomora/videos/587300862823831/
PRODIGEES, a project funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 research programme, is an instrument for catalysing ongoing research in digitalisation towards sustainable development, and for invigorating knowledge cooperation networks between advanced and emerging economies, specifically those countries with a history of partnership in IDOS’ Managing Global Governance (MGG) network. The project is a Marie Skłodowska Curie Action – Research & Innovation Staff Exchange (MSCA-RISE), the basis of which is the exchange of research staff between partners.