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First Advisory Council for the Principles for Digital Development Launched to Support a Growing Community of Endorsers

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – As stewards of the Principles for Digital Development (Digital Principles), the Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) is pleased to announce the first-ever Digital Principles Advisory Council.

The nomination period for the Advisory Council closed on November 9 after a six-week open nomination period. More than 40 applications were submitted, both publicly through the Digital Principles Forum and privately through a confidential online form.  The Selection Committee, comprised of two DIAL staff, and three independent digital development practitioners, welcome the newly confirmed members:

  • Stefan Germann is the CEO of Fondation Botnar, a foundation based in Basel, Switzerland that seeks to improve the health of children and youth in growing secondary cities around the world. He has worked in various health leadership roles in Africa for over 15 years with a focus on child health-related development, relief and advocacy work.
  • Jaclyn Carlsen is an ICT Policy Advisor at the US Agency for International Development where she works with governments, consultants, and tech vendors to design and implement technology initiatives. She is most interested in how to better engage users in program design and how operational costs can be more explicit.
  • Sandra Aluoc-Simbiri has over 20 years of ICT experience working across Sub-Saharan Africa and the United States and has worked in both the private and public sectors, developing and implementing new and innovative ICT solutions. She is Regional Instant Network School (INS) Officer at UNHCR where she is responsible for managing innovative programming within UNHCR’s education services regionally.
  • Channe Suy Lan is the Regional Lead for the Innovation Lab of Southeast Asia where she leads the team to work across sectors and identifies opportunities for ICT solutions to improve public health, education and social justice for communities in Cambodia and beyond.
  • Nora Lindstrom is an international development professional with over a decade of experience on three different continents. She is currently the Global Lead for Digital Development at Plan International, where she promotes the responsible use of technology and digital tools for advancing children’s rights and equality for girls.
  • Dr. Henry Mwanyika serves as PATH’s Digital Health Regional Director for Africa and supports government efforts to design digital health infrastructure. He has over 20 years of experience in the commercial ICT sector and the public sector and is a trusted advisor to governments across Africa.
  • Lillian Ndutai is an entrepreneur and technologist passionate about making technology work for social good. Lillian previously headed the United Nation’s Humanitarian Data Exchange Lab (HDX, Nairobi) Centre for Humanitarian Data, which brings together data from over 300 organizations.
  • Josh Mandell is an international development specialist and business executive on IBM’s GBS Foreign Affairs team. He is leading the company’s effort to partner with development institutions and advance technology adoption, while also exploring new applied technologies for social impact.

“I am excited to contribute to building a robust community that champions the Principles for Digital Development so that they are relevant and respond to the needs, questions and concerns of the digital development community,” said Stefan Germann. “If we get this right and find a common and collaborative way to work together, then we have opportunity to truly unlock the potential of digital technology and data for good!”

The formation of an Advisory Council highlights the importance of the digital development community’s role in shaping and driving forward the Digital Principles in international development as well as the call to address the digital ecosystem’s diverse, yet intersecting needs.

“As we unlock digital markets, we must ensure that we are not ‘exclusive in our inclusion’ of vulnerable groups,” added Sandra Aluoc-Simbiri. “We must be inclusive in our agenda to ensure no group is left behind.”

Advisory Council members will each serve a two-year term with option of renewal or extension. During this period, they will work with DIAL staff and one another to help guide the Digital Principles’ projects and investments and support DIAL’s engagement with the community and the responsibilities DIAL has as stewards of the Digital Principles.

“I hope that in two years we see greater collaboration and alignment around development programs that leverage digital tools and technologies,” concluded Germann. “I hope that the Digital Principles become a language which donors, governments, implementers and practitioners use when co-creating initiatives for impact.”

For more information on the selection process and how decisions were reached, please read the blog on the Digital Principles website: