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Effective research fuels effective digital transformation.

Emerging insights from around the world are starting to show that, if done well, good data architecture and governance can broaden the value of data for meaningful economic and social gains.

Take India for example. Integrating Aadhaar (their digital ID system) and the Unified Payments Interface (their payments system) with a government commitment to financial inclusion has helped India achieve an 80% financial inclusion rate. And, it has contributed an estimated additional $16.4 billion to their economy.

Yet, effectively unlocking data for socio-economic growth remains far from reach. Today, most countries are mired in complex, fragmented data systems that fail to meet their full potential. At the same time, data policies and safeguards that ensure data privacy and security for people are woefully insufficient – leading to undermining of trust in critical institutions, deepening discrimination, and eroding social norms.

So, how can those working on the frontlines of digital transformation ensure:

People’s digital rights, aspirations, and wellbeing are prioritized.
People have agency over their data and choice around how they use it.
People can trust in the products and data flows behind digital solutions and can voice issues and concerns.

We do the research that’s needed.


Our team examines the different approaches countries are taking to developing their digital public infrastructure and data governance, and the impact it’s having for people and communities.


We look for trends, explore decisions and tradeoffs, and ultimately transform the insights we uncover into actionable guidance for policymakers, funders, and development actors, so they have the knowledge and tools they need to ensure all people can – and do – reap positive benefits of digital transformation.

Today, our research focuses on few different areas:

The human impact of DPI.

We focus on the long-term impacts of digital public infrastructure, documenting how it can best be designed, implemented, and governed to uplift and empower people.

The power of unlocking data.

We identify emerging practices, insights and recommendations for data governance and data exchange – among other things – within digital public infrastructure that allow individuals access to and benefit from their data.

The societal impact of DPI.

We explore the opportunities, risks and interdependencies between digital public infrastructure and pressing societal issues, such as climate change.

Research powers our country and policy engagement, and vice versa.

We invest in understanding the context – national, local, cultural, socioeconomic, and technological – because we believe this provides essential insights and knowledge on the needs of and realities for people and communities.

This in turn helps us to better advocate for policies and practices that give individuals agency and choice, and support governments to make critical decisions in their digital transformation journeys that ensure people can trust in the digital solutions provided.

But we don’t stop there. We take what we hear and learn through our work with our partners, communities of practice and peer networks, and we feed it back into our research agenda.

As an alliance, we work in collaboration by design.

Our small but expert team does a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to our research. But we don’t do it all alone.

We partner with a range of leading institutions and organizations, like the World Bank, Smart Africa, and Co-Develop, because we believe in the benefits of mutual learning. And, most importantly, our collaborative approach results in research with further reach, more actionable insights, and an overall greater impact.