Digital Research and Learning Agenda

Speeches Shim

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 curated a searchable database and world map of digital development evidence from across the digital ecosystem. This publicly available database of nearly 1,000 digital development resources and interventions can help development practitioners understand the range of data and best practices and design more effective and sustainable digital programming. 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 database is an essential starting point for designing and implementing new digital development projects and will help the development community achieve better outcomes over the long term.

For deliverables from USAID-funded projects, submitting a document to the DEEM does not replace the need to submit to official repositories as outlined in contracts and awards and approved by USAID (the Development Experience Clearinghouse and the Development Data Library).

Download the DRLA Factsheet

For more information, contact digitaldevelopment@usaid.gov.

Last updated: October 06, 2022

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