Principles for Digital Development

The Principles for Digital Development are nine living guidelines that are designed to help integrate best practices into technology-enabled programs and are intended to be updated and refined over time. They include guidance for every phase of the project life cycle, and they are part of an ongoing effort among development practitioners to share knowledge and support continuous learning.

 

Principles for Digital Development

The Principles for Digital Development are nine living guidelines that are designed to help integrate best practices into technology-enabled programs and are intended to be updated and refined over time. They include guidance for every phase of the project life cycle, and they are part of an ongoing effort among development practitioners to share knowledge and support continuous learning.

 

The Relevance of Digital Principles

As the use of technology increases, so does their use in the provision of public services at the local level. While these technologies have the potential to increase efficiency, cost effectiveness and impact, there are still major barriers to ensure that their impact is fully realized. The Principles for Digital Development are a tool we use to help realize that full potential of ICTs. 

Realizing that full potential of ICTs

While the potential of ICTs is clear, the success of projects that have sprung up using technology to solve pressing problems at the level of local government is less so. Pilots have failed to move into scalable and sustainable programs. Solutions too often reinvent the wheel rather than building on robust platforms, infrastructure, and shared services. Applications and services designed thousands of miles from their use environment failed to meet user needs. The creation of duplicative tools and systems has made data difficult to access and use for decision-making.

A Call to Action

This is an inefficient use of scarce resources. We must do better, both to fulfill our own mandates and, critically, to deliver to the best of our ability for the people we serve. Traditional organizations, especially local governments, must now play catch-up. We need to reform our approach to enable the most strategic investments in digitally supported work, and to strengthen our capacity to implement against this new vision.

Exploring our Principles for Digital Development

We endorse the Principles for Digital Development. This means that we are committed to designing technology-enabled tools that can reach more people, achieve greater impact and produce stronger and more sustainable outcomes.

01.

Design with the User

User-centered design starts with getting to know the people you are designing for through conversation, observation and co-creation.

02.

Understand the Existing Ecosystem

Well-designed initiatives and digital tools consider the particular structures and needs that exist in each country, region and community.

03.

Design for Scale

Achieving scale requires adoption beyond an initiatives pilot population and often necessitates securing funding or partners that take the initiative to new communities or regions.

04.

Build for Sustainability

Building sustainable programs, platforms and digital tools is essential to maintain user and stakeholder support, as well as to maximize long-term impact.

05.

Be Data Driven

When an initiative is data driven, quality information is available to the right people when they need it, and they are using those data to take action.

06.

Use Open Standards

An open approach to digital development can help to increase collaboration in the digital development community and avoid duplicating work that has already been done.

07.

Reuse and Improve

Reusing and improving is about taking the work of the global development community further than any organization or program can do alone.

08.

Address Privacy & Security

Addressing privacy and security in digital development involves careful consideration of which data are collected and how data are acquired, used, stored and shared.

09.

Be Collaborative

Being collaborative means sharing information, insights, strategies and resources across projects, organizations and sectors, leading to increased efficiency and impact.

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