Insights and Impact

The power of digital tools to enhance people’s lives is well documented, as are the efforts of governments, the development community and the private sector to make them widely available across society.

The opportunity

Technology has the potential to exacerbate or narrow inequality across the developing world. As technology advances, many people in developing countries, particularly women and those in rural areas, are being left behind. Governments, the development community and the private sector are still learning how to improve equitable access and effective adoption of digital tools across all segments of society.

DIAL is working with digital development partners across the ecosystem to conduct research, share practical knowledge and advocate for the implementation of emerging good practice in digital development. With new knowledge generation and greater collective action, the benefits of digital services can reach the underserved faster, more efficiently and through mechanisms that more directly address the challenges and opportunities they face in their lives.

Key barriers and root causes

Two key barriers stand ahead of governments, donors, implementers and industry in realizing a more inclusive digital society for underserved women and men:

1. Ongoing capacity and knowledge gaps challenge the adoption of basic digital tools and fail to keep pace with the complexity of innovation throughout the sector. Individuals and organizations struggle to understand the most critical and actionable opportunities behind new technologies

2. Fragmentation of efforts by key actors in the ecosystem, leading to incremental digital investments that are unsustainable and do not scale in any poignant way. While individuals at donor agencies and private and corporate foundations aspire to collaborate more effectively, institutional settings and incentives across parties undermine efforts towards greater collective impact.

Insights and Impact

DIAL’s Insights and Impact delivers research, practical knowledge and advocacy to advance a more inclusive digital society. The team uses a variety of delivery formats so that governments, technology companies, and the development community can enhance their ability to deploy digital services to more people. DIAL also convenes these groups to encourage collaborative adoption of emerging policies, practices and investment.

Insights and Impact has a unique mandate to tackle big challenges through its work, and the opportunity to shape a new research agenda each year. This flexibility ensures that its investments can keep pace with the rapidly evolving digital development and technology landscapes worldwide.

Insights and Impact (I&I) has four main initiatives:

  • Stewardship for the Principles for Digital Development. DIAL invests in a series of comprehensive and complementary global public goods for the digital development community to increase awareness, adoption and impact of the Principles for Digital Development.
  • Operational How-to Guidance. DIAL produces operational how-to guidance for digital development practitioners to improve implementation of programs Including digital components.
  • Exploratory Research. DIAL undertakes independent research to explore potential game-changing ideas and emerging trends, as well as support the efforts of our partners in elevating new insights from across the digital development ecosystem.
  • Funder Collaboration. DIAL works closely with donor organizations to assess the gaps in funder investment and designs novel approaches for more effective collaboration in digital development sectors.