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The Digital Impact Alliance Opens Nomination Period for New Advisory Council

WASHINGTON – Today, the Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) announced the open nomination period for the first Digital Principles Advisory Council. The Advisory Council is intended to serve as an independent consultative body to DIAL and will provide guidance to shape the evolution of the Digital Principles, offer input into objectives and project investments, and reinforce DIAL’s accountability and responsibilities to the broader ICT for development (ICT4D) community as stewards of the Digital Principles.  For more details on the specific responsibilities of the Advisory Council, please review the Terms of Reference.

DIAL was named steward of the Digital Principles in 2016 and immediately began seeking counsel and perspectives from hundreds of digital development practitioners in shaping updated guidance and developing new resources for the Digital Principles. In over two years, nearly 300 individuals in the sector have been engaged on various projects, with interest continuing to grow. The Advisory Council aims to formalize the engagement process for ICT4D practitioners and enhance the community’s role in providing learnings and feedback.

“With a dedicated body of ICT4D practitioners, nominated by their colleagues and representing diverse backgrounds and regions, we are ensuring community members from around the globe have a voice,” explained Allana Nelson, Manager of the Digital Principles at DIAL. “The Advisory Council members will have a unique opportunity to provide input into our strategies, program plans, and content design and creation for all resources related to the Digital Principles.”

The eight individuals selected for the Advisory Council will represent different sectors, geographies and organizational types. Particular consideration will be given to those individuals who have experience in the Global South, reflecting the reality of where digital development programs take place, and include underrepresented voices in conversations about global goods and development best practice.

Digital development practitioners will have six weeks to publicly nominate their peers on the Principles for Digital Development Forum. Practitioners are also eligible to nominate themselves. Nominations will require consent of the person being nominated, a resume or CV, and letter of support for their selected candidate. The nomination period opens today and will close on November 9, 2018, after which a five-person Selection Committee representing diverse regions and sectors will review all candidates and determine who will sit on the first Digital Principles Advisory Council. The following individuals have been identified to serve on the Selection Committee:

  • Benjamin Grubb – Technology for Development at UNICEF, East Asia and Pacific. Benjamin contributes to technology and innovation in the humanitarian and development sector and upholds a principles-based approach to designing and deploying sustainable and user-centered solutions.
  • Catalina Escobar-Bravo – Strategy Director & Co-founder, Makaia. Catalina is a civil society leader and social entrepreneur with 18 years of experience in social sector, digital development and international cooperation.
  • Chilunga Puta – Director of BID Learning Network, PATH. Chilunga is an infectious disease research and public health practitioner with over 20 years of experience working in developing country healthcare settings.
  • Michael Downey – Director of Community for the Open Source center, DIAL. Michael’s career in IT and open source spans nearly two decades both in the healthcare and financial services industries, as well as the nonprofit world.
  • Allana Nelson – Manager for the Principles for Digital Development, DIAL. Allana spent the last ten years working in government, non-profit, and private sector organizations specializing in project management and business operations in the areas of international development, communications, and training.

DIAL anticipates to announce the selected members of the Advisory Council in mid-December and will also publish a brief overview of the process that took place and how decisions were reached.

Join the community and submit your nominations through the Principles for Digital Development Forum.

About DIAL

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 & 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. In 2016, the Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) was named steward of the Principles for Digital Development (also known as the Digital Principles) and is charged with facilitating dialogue among the digital development community, curating the exchange of new ideas and resources, and promoting adoption and new endorsement of the Digital Principles.

About the Principles for Digital Development

A Principles for Digital Development Working Group launched in June 2014 to gather insights and feedback from development implementers and donor representatives on using digital technology for their programs. The Working Group was intended to enable those practitioners most likely to be impacted by, and directly influence, the implementation of digital development to interpret and define the Digital Principles. Over the course of a year, the Working Group met nine times to discuss each Principle in-depth, resulting in a shared understanding of what the Digital Principles mean in practice. More information on the Digital Principles can be found at

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