With the advent of accessible digital technology more than a decade ago, international development organizations began seeking new ways of including digital tools in their programming for improved outcomes.
These efforts were initially quite successful; significant advancements occurred in various sectors such as health and agriculture, more communities around the globe were connected, and underserved populations were reached in a way that had not been possible before. However, some digitally-enabled programs failed – and quite often that failure was for reasons that were both predictable and preventable.
User-centered design starts with getting to know the people you are designing for through conversation, observation and co-creation.
Well-designed initiatives and digital tools consider the particular structures and needs that exist in each country, region and community.
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.
Building sustainable programs, platforms and digital tools is essential to maintain user and stakeholder support, as well as to maximize long-term impact.
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.
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.
Reusing and improving is about taking the work of the global development community further than any organization or program can do alone.
Addressing privacy and security in digital development involves careful consideration of which data are collected and how data are acquired, used, stored and shared.
Being collaborative means sharing information, insights, strategies and resources across projects, organizations and sectors, leading to increased efficiency and impact.