What we do

DIAL unlocks markets to deliver digital services to the most vulnerable, working with partners to overcome these challenges, so that together we can create a more inclusive digital society.

Definition of Success

DIAL’s success will be measured by how quickly we unlock digital markets to deliver digital services and data for the most vulnerable. We work with key stakeholders to:

  1. Increase the speed, number, and quality of services provided to more people at an affordable price in the developing world;
  2. Improve access to, understanding of and use of data for development in public service delivery and development programs; and
  3. Foster adoption by governments, funders, and other implementers of evidence-based good practices when they fund, design, and deploy digital services.

Our approach

DIAL originated to bring the public and private sectors together to realize an inclusive digital society that connects everyone to life-enhancing and life-enabling technology. DIAL is staffed by a global team of technology researchers, developers, investors, negotiators, and policymakers. It is supported by world-class foundations and development agencies and guided by a Board of leading emerging market entrepreneurs, technologists and development experts.

With this leadership, DIAL is uniquely positioned to serve as a neutral broker, bringing together government, industry, and other development stakeholders to promote new solutions to old problems.


  • Convene the community, offering mechanisms to encourage knowledge sharing, collaboration and co-investment;
  • Discover what works and does not work to overcome key barriers, promoting scale up and replication of successful models, creating public goods where necessary;
  • Generate insights and data to strengthen others’ investments and service design and delivery efforts; and
  • Advocate good practice recommendations to governments, industry, funders and implementers.

Focus Areas

DIAL’s focus will adapt as the sector evolves and as it learns from its work and that of others in the community. Our Focus Areas include:



Platforms and Services: DIAL addresses reach and capacity challenges, working to help digital service providers design and deploy their services faster, at a lower cost, and to a wider audience in developing markets.



Data for Development: DIAL accelerates shared value scenarios in technology and economic models, working closely with MNOs and data holders. DIAL also supports discussions tackling sensitive privacy and security questions that stymie the public sector and development community’s access to and use of data to improve communications and services provided to the people they serve.



Insights and Impact: DIAL produces, curates, and disseminates evidence-based good practices packaged in easy to understand guidance so that governments, technology companies, the development community, and other implementers can quickly use it to inform ongoing efforts to fund, design, and deploy digital services to more people. DIAL then convenes these groups that share advocacy agendas to drive collective impact.


DIAL has an opportunity to shape the digital development ecosystem differently. To take the bold leaps that others can’t imagine. We will partner with the best talent in the field, linking and augmenting existing efforts.

By channeling resources through a neutral entity such as the UN Foundation, and working collaboratively across partners, geographies and verticals, DIAL can address the key bottlenecks preventing platforms and services and data for development efforts from scaling. All the while yielding insights and impact for many across the digital development ecosystem.