If you are a global development actor (GDA), then you know the challenges in finding reliable data on digital tools and implementations. Data can empower users, save time and resources, reduce duplication of effort, and improve the response to crises. However, quality data is hard to access and many GDAs struggle to find data that is accurate, complete, reliable, and up to date.
To address some of these challenges, the Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) developed the Catalog of Digital Solutions, an interactive online resource that supports strategic decision making for a wide range of stakeholders by making data on digital technologies accessible and reusable. It is a collaborative platform that aids users in the discovery and evaluation of digital technologies. Additionally, it tracks where these tools have been implemented and provides guidance for specific use cases.
We are excited to announce the launch of an updated version of the Catalog, redesigned to make the platform easier to use and to provide a cleaner way to visualize the data that it contains. Whether you are a project leader trying to determine if you should leverage an existing software platform or develop something new, a donor organization trying to coordinate investments across different sectors, or a government minister trying to understand what tools and platforms have been deployed in a specific country context, the catalog can help provide necessary information to support decisions around technology initiatives.
Don’t know where to start?
With the launch of the updated Catalog, we are also introducing a new feature: The Requirements and Recommendation Wizard. This feature allows users to answer a few simple questions about their project and provides targeted information and resources to support their work at every phase of the project lifecycle.
For example, a project manager working on a COVID vaccination project could use the Wizard, answering a few quick questions about their project. The Wizard will then provide resources tailored to their use case – links to similar projects, information about digital products that could be used, use cases that have been developed to support COVID response, as well as other guidance and resources, such as tools to measure ROI for their project.
The Catalog provides value to many types of users:
- Donors – Leaders of sectoral teams can use the catalog to better understand how to where investments are being made across different contexts and sectors. A user can explore different use cases in multiple sectors and see which common tools could be used to support multiple use cases. This allows for greater coordination and interoperability between digital projects across sectoral groups.
- Government ministers – A worker in the Ministry of Education or Ministry of Agriculture can use the catalog to find existing solutions that may support their use cases. Ministries can quickly see the tools that have been deployed across a country context.
- Procurers – Procurers can use the new Product Recommendation Wizard to find similar projects. This allows them to gain a better understanding of the software products that already exist, and can help support build vs. buy decisions. Procurers will also find links to resources like DIAL’s Procurement Guide.
- Implementers – Implementers can leverage the Building Blocks approach to quickly build complete solutions. If a project requires a payment, messaging, data collection, or other building block component, an implementer can see what existing platforms can be used to provide that functionality without having to write a bespoke solution.
- Product Owners – A product owner can provide information about where their product has been deployed and by whom. They can use the online forums built into the catalog to answer questions and share best practices for use of their product.
The SDG Digital Investment Framework
In a world where most technology solutions are sector- and context- specific, the Catalog can help identify reusable software tools based upon the Building Blocks approach, which is outlined in the SDG Digital Investment Framework created by DIAL and ITU. Users can leverage the Catalog to find tools that are used in specific sectors and use cases but can also identify re-usable technologies that will support a wide range of projects, reducing fragmentation and unnecessary duplication of investments.
The Catalog collects information from a wide range of data sources and presents it in a user-friendly way that provides insights for donors, governments, procurers, implementers, and product owners. Data is aggregated from the World Health Organization, the Digital Public Goods Alliance, Digital Square, the German Development Corporation, Gates Foundation, as well as other sources.
Our goal is to provide a tool that will enhance communication and collaboration across the T4D ecosystem. Please visit the Catalog at https://solutions.dial.community or reach out to email@example.com to let us know how we can support your work.