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Please Help Update the Digital Principles for the Next Decade

By Guest Writer on January 25, 2024

digital principles refresh

The Principles for Digital Development are relevant and valuable guidelines for the increasingly expansive ecosystem of digital development actors. The Principles were drafted in 2014 to guide the use of digital technology in international development and are stewarded by the Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) on behalf of the digital development community.

The Principles represent a shared commitment to responsible digital technology use in service of development goals, grounded in the rights and aspirations of all people. Endorsed by more than 300 organizations, the Principles have helped to establish a shared language and framework among digital development practitioners around the world.

Digital Principles Refresh

After ten years, and in recognition of the rapidly changing landscape of digital technology, we have an important moment to ensure the Principles endure another decade. DIAL convened a series of consultations throughout 2023 with wide-ranging and geographically diverse stakeholders to gather community insight and coalesce around shared values.

We have drafted the next iteration of the Principles with their input, which we believe will continue to provide guidance to enable digital technology investments to benefit all. The updated language is intended to ensure the refreshed Principles:

  • Adhere to the spirit of the original nine Principles while expanding their relevance to digital technology’s increasingly pervasive role in society and the economy;
  • Align with the opportunities and risks associated with digital technology, based on our collective learnings over the past decade;
  • Cohere both strategically and in practice as an overarching framework to guide the design, deployment, and governance of digital technology; and
  • Reinvigorate the community’s sense of ownership of the Principles as a shared, common good.

Please Share Your Feedback

Please review the draft updated Principles.

All of us – digital development policymakers and practitioners – have the responsibility to update the Principles of Digital Development and continue this common frame of reference across the development sector.

Add your feedback via this short survey.

Please respond by February 20, 2024. DIAL will then finalize the next iteration of the Principles.

Originally published by DIAL as Updating the Principles of Digital Development for the next decade.

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One Comment to “Please Help Update the Digital Principles for the Next Decade”

  1. Mike Dawson says:

    It’s not the principles, it’s the (lack) of implementation. I don’t see any indicators (e.g. percentage of digital work that is a digital public good, percentage of digital products available under open license, etc).

    This has resulted in repeated instances where 1) work was entirely funded by funds for the public benefit (often taxpayers) and 2) the intellectual property of the work taxpayers funded winds up being held by an organization that made no financial contribution to creating it, thus creating a monopoly / veto over future use of the work.