Principles for Digital Development

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In 2015, USAID, along with a group of donor, implementer, and multilateral organizations, co-drafted the Principles for Digital Development, nine areas of best practice in the application of digital technologies to global development. The Digital Principles articulate guidance to help address challenges such as pilots that fail to scale or do not involve sufficient engagement with the target users. USAID became the first organization to endorse the Digital Principles officially at their launch in 2016, and the Agency continues to promote them today. More than 250 organizations have now endorsed the Digital Principles, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Bank Group, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) of the United Kingdom.

Watch the Principles Video. 

USAID is integrating the Principles for Digital Development into the design, procurement, and implementation of our awards, as appropriate. In addition to procurement, USAID and our partners will meaningfully incorporate the Digital Principles and other established, empirically rooted international best practices throughout the Agency’s Program Cycle. USAID is strengthening our commitment to the Principles for Digital Development and ensuring their ongoing alignment with existing, pending, and future USAID policies and award requirements, with input from our partners through public notice and comment where applicable.

Download the Digital Principles factsheet.

The Digital Investment Tool 

The Digital Investment Tool supports USAID staff and implementing partners in integrating the Principles for Digital Development into digital activities. The tool can be used throughout the program cycle, but is tailored for use during work planning and implementation. Use of this resource will support robust development of digital systems that are effective, sustainable, and support the self-reliance of local partners that own and operate these systems. 

Watch the webinar below for a better understanding of the tool and how it can be applied across your programs.

For more information, please contact digitaldevelopment@usaid.gov.

Last updated: August 06, 2021

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