Scale Up to Hyderabad

Next week, the ninth annual ICT4D Conference will bring together local implementers, international NGOs, donors and technology providers from around the world to Hyderabad, India. The focus of the conference will be on the role that better data can play to help the world meet the Sustainable Development Goals, and increase the ability of ICT-based programs to contribute to them.

Back in February, we wrote about the unique challenges faced by digital development organizations as they take their projects and programs to national scale, including the lack of available guidance for program leaders and business managers that are looking to take their services to the next level after they’ve hit the four or five year mark. Soon after, DIAL announced a new partnership with Vital Wave, BBC Media Action, Esoko and Johns Hopkins University to document the lessons learned by organizations that have made it past the pilot phase. The work of this partnership will lead to a handy quick reference guide, captured in an eBook format, that’s aimed at helping practitioners ask the right questions as they chart their course to growth and giving them the tools they need to answer them.

The guide will set the scene for the kinds of transition many digital development businesses or organizations find themselves in as they plan for the next stage of their growth, whether it is the end of their initial funding, the need for new or different human resources and skills, expansions to new markets or locations, new competition or an eventual transfer of program ownership to a government entity. Readers will be able to navigate through a series of modules in areas such as program strategy, business modeling, human capacity, partnership strategies and operations, with a series of common guidance steps brought to life by real-world examples from the experiences of ICT4D implementers. Useful tools and templates woven throughout will provide actionable ‘how to’s’ to help readers apply this guidance in their own work. Additionally, full-length case studies from BBC Media Action and Esoko will provide a flavor of how their journeys have played out over the past several years of experimentation, learning and growth.

At the ICT4D Conference, the Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) and its partners will test out the first module of the guide, which looks at how leaders and managers might evolve their business model as they grow, from obtaining sustainable revenue and funding to getting a handle on the costs they’ll assume.

We want your input! If you’re planning on attending ICT4D and would like to take this first chapter for a spin, please contact me. Your feedback will help inform this guide to ensure more digital deployments worldwide can move beyond scale and achieve long-term sustainability and success, ultimately bringing more underserved persons to reap the benefits of an inclusive digital society.

View the schedule for the scale up workshops:

Wameek Noor joined the Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) in October 2016 as the Director of Insights. In this role, he manages innovative research and experimentation offering key insights and operational know-how to create a more effective and enabling digital ecosystem.