#TBT: Bringing the Digital Principles to Life in Jakarta

In February, the Digital Impact Alliance hosted its second Practicing the Principles event in Jakarta, Indonesia. The event shared insights from public and private sector implementers on how they are putting the Principles for Digital Development into practice, finding innovations and gaining efficiencies that are inspiring a new way to implement development projects. The Principles for Digital Development are nine living guidelines designed to help digital development practitioners integrate established best practices into technology-enabled programs.

Our first panel on Design for Scale dove into the challenges organizations face as they reach the ‘valley of death,’ which occurs around the 4-5 year mark when donor programming ends and the program needs to transition to new countries or new leadership in national government. Featured panelists, including Ari Katz, IREX, Vasil Rusinov, mClinica, and Dr. Marian Panganiban, Grab, were able to share their experiences with their journey to overcome these challenges as they grew and scaled their respective programs and services to more end users.

To highlight the principle Reuse & Improve, presenters shared how their organizations have reused existing digital tools and improved on their use to gain greater impact. This series of lightning talks allowed audience members to get a glimpse into what methods, standards, platforms, and tools helped and then ask questions on specifics to adapt these practices. Speakers included Nashin Mahtani, PetaBencana.id, Dr. Aulia Human, FHI360, Dr. Jong Gun Lee, UN Global Pulse, and Valerie Crab, UNICEF.

HOT Jakarta then shared a featured presentation on how crowd sourcing their OpenStreet Map helped ensure sustainability with consistent and updated data directly from users who benefit from its services. Through regular engagement with universities, social media promotion, sharing training materials and institutionalizing the technology within government and partner organizations, they were able to overcome sustainability challenges that cripple similar technology programs.

There was also a facilitated discussion between representatives from NGOs, academia and the public sector to discuss how we can work across sectors to Build for Sustainability.

To cap off the day, Donny Erysatha of Facebook Indonesia and Ganesh Rasagam from the World Bank Group discussed the future and impact of technology and the digital principles in Southeast Asia.

“Technology is key to economic growth, development and improving the livelihoods of global populations,” said Donny Erysatha. “Equipping people with the right digital skills and tools is essential to achieve these goals.”

Ganesh Rasagam added on to say that the “digital principles are critical to address the growing digital gap affecting underserved populations globally. And continue to keep the community engaged because the principles will need to evolve as emerging technology enters the market.”

The Digital Principles continue to be a community-driven global good, meant to advance the role of digital technology in development and to move the needle on ending global poverty into technology-enabled programs while incorporating feedback and new insights over time. They are currently endorsed by nearly 100 organizations, including USAID, UNICEF, NDI, Grameen Foundation, IntraHealth International, SIDA, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and many more. To become an endorser, visit: https://digitalprinciples.org/endorse/

For an even further #tbt – check out a video from our first Practicing the Principles event in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. This video was made possible thanks to our partner HDIF: https://vimeo.com/261552532