The Digital Research and Learning Agenda (DRLA) ensures the Agency and its partners are routinely identifying and answering pressing digital development research questions. In collaboration with private, academic, governmental, and non-governmental institutions—USAID will use the DRLA to gather evidence, test interventions, coordinate and enhance research, and continually adapt best practices for existing and emerging digital technologies through a four pronged approach: 

  1. USAID will study how digital technologies are used in the development context, building evidence and identifying gaps. 

  2. The Agency will apply this newly consolidated knowledge to our work, simultaneously testing and evaluating interventions, processes, and policies as they are developed to inform programming. 

  3. USAID will create learning partnerships to coordinate and synergize research initiatives. 

  4. The Agency and development partners will integrate lessons learned to understand and address the impact and repercussions of emerging technologies. 

The DRLA will both contribute to, and be informed by, the Agency learning agenda. In particular, the DRLA is highly aligned with efforts to identify and address priority questions; facilitate uptake of evidence and learning into policy, guidance, and programming; and disseminate learning throughout the Agency and broader development community to reinforce transparency and accountability. 

Digital Ecosystem Evidence Map (DEEM)

As part of the Digital Research and Learning Agenda, USAID is curating a database of research about a wide range of digital ecosystem characteristics and interventions. This database will be publicly available, easily searchable, and will help development practitioners understand the range of data available on various aspects of digital ecosystems throughout the world. With research related to interventions at the individual level (e.g. digital literacy training programs) to ecosystem-wide data (e.g. policy and regulatory documents), the DEEM will be an essential starting point for designing and implementing new projects.

Download the DRLA Factsheet

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