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The Digital Impact Alliance and ITU Release New Digital Investment Framework to Achieve the SDGs

NEW YORK, NY – Partners call on countries to take whole-of-government approach to investing in digital technologies.

The Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) released a global call to action today, inviting governments, donors, technology vendors and other stakeholders to adopt a whole-of-government approach to investing in digital technology. The call to action builds upon a new Digital Investment Framework that DIAL and ITU have developed for global stakeholders which identifies digital technologies that are most important to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The launch of this new SDG Digital Investment Framework is the first step in DIAL and ITU’s ongoing collaboration. The Framework examined use cases in agriculture, education and the health sector and identifies a set of common, reusable ICT building blocks. For example, a few of the building blocks relate to identification, messaging and payment systems, all which can be reused across multiple development sectors. Investing in reusable ICT building blocks – like India and Estonia have approached their e-governance efforts – has been proven to increase efficiency, deliver a higher ROI for governments and create a platform-based ecosystem that attracts a higher volume of application providers.

“The Framework reinforces our commitment to breaking down barriers and looking for ways to institutionalize digital technology into development services,” said Kate Wilson, CEO, Digital Impact Alliance. “While this is our first joint initiative with ITU, we look forward to our continued work to help governments, the private sector, and donors make smarter and more strategic investments in digital technology to realize their potential to deliver SDG services to anyone, anywhere, at any time.”

DIAL and ITU are inviting the development community to support a whole-of-government approach to deploying integrated digital services to achieve the SDGs. Whole-of-government refers to an approach whereby governments look across all sectors and organizations when considering how to invest in ICT infrastructure in an integrated and coordinated manner. Taking this holistic view helps countries realize economies of scale that are not possible when ICT is implemented in a piecemeal fashion. DIAL and ITU have proposed specific calls to action for governments, donors and technology implementers to use this approach and in return have outlined specific support the partners will provide to others.

“Information and communication technologies are a key platform for development and a powerful tool to help achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, says Brahima Sanou, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau. “This Framework is an important tool to help policy makers and donors to identify and direct funds to more efficient and effective ICT investments that will ensure no one is left behind.”

The SDG commitments made by 193 countries were set to “transform our world” by 2030. Countries’ ability to achieve this goal is dependent on innovative uses of ICT services that can make existing programs more effective and scalable to better serve their population.

“Despite billions of dollars invested over the last decade to integrate programs and digital technology, the development community has yet to see software providers creating applications to support the SDGs because investments are often siloed by sector, address a very small target audience and are designed for the short term,” said Jonathan Payne, Senior Policy Advisor at DIAL. “The SDG Digital Investment Framework and whole-of-government approach address these issues by fostering reusable ICT building blocks that can be implemented across multiple sectors to meet diverse development needs.”

To read DIAL and ITU’s Call to Action, visit

About the Digital Impact Alliance

The Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) aims to realize a more inclusive digital society in emerging markets, in which all women, men and children benefit from life-enhancing, mobile-based digital services. A partnership among USAID, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Swedish Government and the United Nations Foundation, DIAL’s efforts help accelerate the collective efforts of government, industry and development organizations to realize this vision.

About ITU

ITU is the specialized agency of the United Nations for information and communication technologies (ICTs), driving innovation in ICTs together with 193 Member States and a membership of more than 800 private sector entities, academic institutions and others. Established over 150 years ago in 1865, ITU is the intergovernmental body responsible for coordinating the shared global use of the radio spectrum, promoting international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, improving communication infrastructure in the developing world, and establishing the worldwide standards that foster seamless interconnection of a vast range of communications systems. From broadband networks to cutting-edge wireless technologies, aeronautical and maritime navigation, radio astronomy, oceanographic and satellite-based earth monitoring as well as converging fixed-mobile phone, Internet and broadcasting technologies, ITU is committed to connecting the world.

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