This week, global development stakeholders from around the world convened at the Global Digital Health Forum (GDHF) in the Washington, DC area to share knowledge with colleagues and wrestle with the challenges we face to realize the full potential of digital services. DIAL and PATH led a panel discussion at the GDHF that examined the current state of digital health knowledge and how organizations are practicing the Principles for Digital Development (PDD).
Feedback from the audience was that while attendees value learning about the Principles, they need the global community to move beyond talking and develop practical guidance that they can put into action.
Practitioners are hungry for resources and tools, designed by them, that answer the questions they face daily in the field. Who is already successfully using the Principles? How can we improve upon what already exists to not reinvent the wheel? What mistakes should we avoid?
Here’s the good news. There are two new toolkits in the pipeline for 2017 to help answer these questions and more. One focused on the Principles for Digital Development and another focused on digital strategies for health system strengthening.
As steward of the Principles for Digital Development, DIAL recognizes the need for relevant, actionable guidance on how the Principles should be used by implementing organizations and donors. The first resource that takes the Principles from idea to practice is currently underway, with the goal of providing to implementing organizations tools and resources that illustrate how they can integrate the Principles into their digital development programs to meet increasing donor requirements.
Focused on providing a reusable common good to the community that can be adapted by many, the website will constantly seek and curate new feedback and content from the digital development community for feedback even after it is launched.
Digital Health Toolkit
In addition to this cross-sector resource, exciting work in global health is also coming in 2017. PATH’s BID Initiative and the World Health Organization (WHO) partnered together to develop a digital health implementation toolkit. This toolkit, designed to guide ministerial program managers, decision makers, and implementers in low- and middle-income countries, helps countries plan, deploy, and evaluate the efficacy of their digital health strategies.
The goal is for users to be able to easily assemble actionable information and resources – from advocacy decks to budget templates – that are relevant to them and their challenges through a guided selection process. Users will begin by identifying the health challenge they are looking to solve before developing system requirements, which would lead to the identification of the right package of solutions. Resource planning, evaluation, and implementation will also be touched on; risk management, change management, and data use for decision making will be core thematic areas discussed throughout the toolkit.
DIAL and PATH look forward to releasing these toolkits on the PDDs and digital health in the coming months to help inform the global development community’s work.
- DIAL’s how-to toolkit on the use of the Principles for Digital Development will be launched at the ICT4D Conference in Hyderabad, India in May 2017.
- PATH and WHO’s digital health implementation toolkit will also be released in May 2017.
To learn more about DIAL’s work, visit www.digitalimpactalliance.org.
Carolyn Florey is Director of Collective Impact at DIAL. Carolyn has worked at the UN Foundation, World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and USAID. Carolyn earned a M.A. from Johns Hopkins SAIS and a B.A. from Tufts University.
Hallie Goertz is a Learning and Communications Specialist at PATH. Hallie joined PATH’s Digital Health Solutions and BID Initiative teams in 2014, bringing fifteen years of experience providing strategic and programmatic leadership to domestic and international public-sector programs. Hallie has an M.P.A. from the University of Washington.