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Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL)

Advancing an inclusive digital society


September 28, 2018

The Digital Impact Alliance Opens Nomination Period for New Advisory Council

By | Newsroom

WASHINGTON – Today, the Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) announced the open nomination period for the first Digital Principles Advisory Council. The Advisory Council is intended to serve as an independent consultative body to DIAL and will provide guidance to shape the evolution of the Digital Principles, offer input into objectives and project investments, and reinforce DIAL’s accountability and responsibilities to the broader ICT for development (ICT4D) community as stewards of the Digital Principles.  For more details on the specific responsibilities of the Advisory Council, please review the Terms of Reference.

DIAL was named steward of the Digital Principles in 2016 and immediately began seeking counsel and perspectives from hundreds of digital development practitioners in shaping updated guidance and developing new resources for the Digital Principles. In over two years, nearly 300 individuals in the sector have been engaged on various projects, with interest continuing to grow. The Advisory Council aims to formalize the engagement process for ICT4D practitioners and enhance the community’s role in providing learnings and feedback.

“With a dedicated body of ICT4D practitioners, nominated by their colleagues and representing diverse backgrounds and regions, we are ensuring community members from around the globe have a voice,” explained Allana Nelson, Manager of the Digital Principles at DIAL. “The Advisory Council members will have a unique opportunity to provide input into our strategies, program plans, and content design and creation for all resources related to the Digital Principles.”

The eight individuals selected for the Advisory Council will represent different sectors, geographies and organizational types. Particular consideration will be given to those individuals who have experience in the Global South, reflecting the reality of where digital development programs take place, and include underrepresented voices in conversations about global goods and development best practice.

Digital development practitioners will have six weeks to publicly nominate their peers on the Principles for Digital Development Forum. Practitioners are also eligible to nominate themselves. Nominations will require consent of the person being nominated, a resume or CV, and letter of support for their selected candidate. The nomination period opens today and will close on November 9, 2018, after which a five-person Selection Committee representing diverse regions and sectors will review all candidates and determine who will sit on the first Digital Principles Advisory Council. The following individuals have been identified to serve on the Selection Committee:

  • Benjamin Grubb – Technology for Development at UNICEF, East Asia and Pacific. Benjamin contributes to technology and innovation in the humanitarian and development sector and upholds a principles-based approach to designing and deploying sustainable and user-centered solutions.
  • Catalina Escobar-Bravo – Strategy Director & Co-founder, Makaia. Catalina is a civil society leader and social entrepreneur with 18 years of experience in social sector, digital development and international cooperation.
  • Chilunga Puta – Director of BID Learning Network, PATH. Chilunga is an infectious disease research and public health practitioner with over 20 years of experience working in developing country healthcare settings.
  • Michael Downey – Director of Community for the Open Source center, DIAL. Michael’s career in IT and open source spans nearly two decades both in the healthcare and financial services industries, as well as the nonprofit world.
  • Allana Nelson – Manager for the Principles for Digital Development, DIAL. Allana spent the last ten years working in government, non-profit, and private sector organizations specializing in project management and business operations in the areas of international development, communications, and training.

DIAL anticipates to announce the selected members of the Advisory Council in mid-December and will also publish a brief overview of the process that took place and how decisions were reached.

Join the community and submit your nominations through the Principles for Digital Development Forum.


About DIAL

The Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) aims to realize a more inclusive digital society in emerging markets, in which all women, men and children benefit from life-enhancing, mobile-based digital services. A partnership among USAID, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Swedish Government and the United Nations Foundation, DIAL’s efforts help accelerate the collective efforts of government, industry and development organizations to realize this vision. In 2016, the Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) was named steward of the Principles for Digital Development (also known as the Digital Principles) and is charged with facilitating dialogue among the digital development community, curating the exchange of new ideas and resources, and promoting adoption and new endorsement of the Digital Principles. www.digitalimpactalliance.org.

About the Principles for Digital Development

A Principles for Digital Development Working Group launched in June 2014 to gather insights and feedback from development implementers and donor representatives on using digital technology for their programs. The Working Group was intended to enable those practitioners most likely to be impacted by, and directly influence, the implementation of digital development to interpret and define the Digital Principles. Over the course of a year, the Working Group met nine times to discuss each Principle in-depth, resulting in a shared understanding of what the Digital Principles mean in practice. More information on the Digital Principles can be found at https://digitalprinciples.org.

September 26, 2018

The Digital Impact Alliance and ITU Release New Digital Investment Framework to Achieve the SDGs

By | Newsroom

The launch of this new SDG Digital Investment Framework is the first step in DIAL and ITU’s ongoing collaboration. The Framework examined use cases in agriculture, education and the health sector and identifies a set of common, reusable ICT building blocks. For example, a few of the building blocks relate to identification, messaging and payment systems, all which can be reused across multiple development sectors. Investing in reusable ICT building blocks – like India and Estonia have approached their e-governance efforts – has been proven to increase efficiency, deliver a higher ROI for governments and create a platform-based ecosystem that attracts a higher volume of application providers.

“The Framework reinforces our commitment to breaking down barriers and looking for ways to institutionalize digital technology into development services,” said Kate Wilson, CEO, Digital Impact Alliance. “While this is our first joint initiative with ITU, we look forward to our continued work to help governments, the private sector, and donors make smarter and more strategic investments in digital technology to realize their potential to deliver SDG services to anyone, anywhere, at any time.”

DIAL and ITU are inviting the development community to support a whole-of-government approach to deploying integrated digital services to achieve the SDGs. Whole-of-government refers to an approach whereby governments look across all sectors and organizations when considering how to invest in ICT infrastructure in an integrated and coordinated manner. Taking this holistic view helps countries realize economies of scale that are not possible when ICT is implemented in a piecemeal fashion. DIAL and ITU have proposed specific calls to action for governments, donors and technology implementers to use this approach and in return have outlined specific support the partners will provide to others.

“Information and communication technologies are a key platform for development and a powerful tool to help achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, says Brahima Sanou, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau. “This Framework is an important tool to help policy makers and donors to identify and direct funds to more efficient and effective ICT investments that will ensure no one is left behind.”

The SDG commitments made by 193 countries were set to “transform our world” by 2030. Countries’ ability to achieve this goal is dependent on innovative uses of ICT services that can make existing programs more effective and scalable to better serve their population.

“Despite billions of dollars invested over the last decade to integrate programs and digital technology, the development community has yet to see software providers creating applications to support the SDGs because investments are often siloed by sector, address a very small target audience and are designed for the short term,” said Jonathan Payne, Senior Policy Advisor at DIAL. “The SDG Digital Investment Framework and whole-of-government approach address these issues by fostering reusable ICT building blocks that can be implemented across multiple sectors to meet diverse development needs.”

To read DIAL and ITU’s Call to Action, visit http://bit.ly/ITUDIAL


About the Digital Impact Alliance

The Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) aims to realize a more inclusive digital society in emerging markets, in which all women, men and children benefit from life-enhancing, mobile-based digital services. A partnership among USAID, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Swedish Government and the United Nations Foundation, DIAL’s efforts help accelerate the collective efforts of government, industry and development organizations to realize this vision. http://www.digitalimpactalliance.org.

About ITU

ITU is the specialized agency of the United Nations for information and communication technologies (ICTs), driving innovation in ICTs together with 193 Member States and a membership of more than 800 private sector entities, academic institutions and others. Established over 150 years ago in 1865, ITU is the intergovernmental body responsible for coordinating the shared global use of the radio spectrum, promoting international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, improving communication infrastructure in the developing world, and establishing the worldwide standards that foster seamless interconnection of a vast range of communications systems. From broadband networks to cutting-edge wireless technologies, aeronautical and maritime navigation, radio astronomy, oceanographic and satellite-based earth monitoring as well as converging fixed-mobile phone, Internet and broadcasting technologies, ITU is committed to connecting the world. http://www.itu.int


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