Digital Public Goods Charter

There is a growing movement to improve government services and spur innovation using digital public goods. This work is meant to empower and improve the outcomes of digital services for people and societies at large. And, this is too big for anyone to do alone.

Background

Approach

Stakeholders

News & Events

Vision

Through a coordinated effort, mobilizing high level stakeholder commitments, investments, and actions, the DPG Charter will advance the use of digital public goods, enabling countries to build safe, trusted and inclusive digital public infrastructure at scale, improving outcomes for people.

Objective

Digital public goods utilize open source technologies to create and open opportunities for countries to meaningfully harness technological advances to support their populations and overcome challenges. In order to make this a reality, national governments, civil society and public and private institutions must prioritize and support these solutions to enable countries to build safe, trusted, and inclusive digital public infrastructure at scale, improving outcomes for people everywhere. 

That’s why we need a charter for digital public goods.

Background

The Digital Public Goods Charter (the DPG Charter) represents a commitment to advancing the use of digital public goods which can enable countries to build safe, trusted, and inclusive digital public infrastructure at scale. When done well, digitalization is proving to underpin and enable solutions that address urgent global challenges such as hunger, pandemics and climate change. The DPG Charter is an opportunity for the public and private sectors, including the United Nations, to work on this together.

The DPG Charter is a coordinated effort, mobilizing high level stakeholder commitments, investments, and actions to ensure:

  • country capacity to build, test, implement, maintain, and govern digital public goods that best address their countries infrastructural needs;
  • the legal, regulatory, and policy frameworks as well as the public institutions required to ensure individuals’ data is safe and protected from misuse and provides equitable access to the benefits of digitalization;
  • sufficient and sustainable funding and funding models that enable DPGs to deliver stable, best-in-class digital solutions that address country needs;
  • vibrant commercial ecosystem of vendors and services who enable rapid deployments and integrations at scale; and
  • thriving software communities that contribute code and support products.

We are striving to respond to and recover from the Covid 19 pandemic, mounting climate disruption, rising inequality and utterly unsustainable patterns of consumption and production. Digital public infrastructure can help solve all these challenges.”

Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations

Approach

Digitalization provides an unprecedented opportunity to deliver critical services and opportunities at societal-scale, including reaching previously un- or under-served populations. This improves innovation in both the public and private sectors, and can, in theory, unlock data in ways that further fuel innovation and empower people. In order for this opportunity to be realized, and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, national governments need to take a central role in advancing responsible digital transformation agendas.

The DPG Charter effort will use a combination of consultations, signatures and pledges to achieve this vision.

CONSULTATION: A consultative process will seek input from a geographically diverse set of stakeholders through outreach and events to develop the DPG Charter language.

SIGNATURES: Stakeholders will be invited to sign the DPG Charter, indicating alignment with the shared vision articulating the need for digital public goods.

PLEDGES: Those signing up to the DPG Charter will also be invited to provide pledges outlining concrete actions they will take in support of advancing this joint vision based on how they can best contribute. Pledges will operationalize the DPG Charter. Pledges must be relevant to the DPG Charter vision, future-focused, and measurable. 

Signatures and pledges will be solicited from the following stakeholder types: governments; private sector companies; philanthropic foundations; UN, development banks and other multilateral institutions; non-governmental organizations, academia, media and other civil society organizations.

With our democratic allies, we will build a global charter for digital public goods in which governments, civil society, software engineers, and tech companies declare principles for open-source tech products that respect human rights.”

Administrator Power, USAID

Stakeholders

The Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) and the Digital Public Goods Alliance (DPGA) are co-leading the DPG Charter process alongside a broad set of stakeholders including: USAID; German Development cooperation, represented by BMZ – Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and GIZ – Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit; The United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO); the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad); the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida); the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); the Rockefeller Foundation; and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The DPG Charter process aspires to be an inclusive process with growing input from new stakeholders as it evolves.

News & Events

  • UNGA, September 13 – 27, 2022 The Charter framework will be shared at a joint event held in New York as part of UNGA. This report will detail key DPG needs and priorities, based on consultations with the public and private sector leading up to the event.
  • Summit for Democracy, TBD The declaration, framework, and pledges will be collected into one packet and shared. Pledges across countries, companies, and foundations will be announced.
  • Summit for the Future, 2023 From the Summit for Democracy through 2023, we work with partners across the globe to collect additional pledges. At the Summit for the Future, we announce how these will be operationalized to provide more support for DPGs.

Stay Informed

The DPG Charter process will kick off June 1, 2022. If you’d like to stay up to date on the DPG Charter process, please sign below.

Photo credit: VideoFlow/stock.adobe.com