yellow shape
Innovation Hub Blog

More on the Nine Digital Principles

05 April 2022

Digital Principles x Partos Digital Lab

In a shared quest to explore a path forward in digital development, The Partos Digital Lab proudly announces its partnership with Principles for Digital Development. We start our collaboration on the 22nd of March with an introduction to the Digital Principles and how it could serve as a ‘living’ guide to improve our digital-enabled programs. These are the highlights of the session.

Putting principle into practice

Claudine Lim, the Principles for Digital Development manager, presented a glimpse of the nine Principles and how we can move from principle to practice. In several exercises, participants were asked to link one of the principles to a social challenge relating to one of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). Participants were triggered to understand the principles as a design framework and find connections with their work. This led to some interesting reflections:

Participants mentioned that ‘Understanding the Existing Ecosystem’ is one of the most challenging principles to apply in their work, as it requires grasping overly complex social-technological ecosystems.

  1. A holistic understanding: The principles interact with each other. Designing with the user at the ground level does not necessarily mean that the existing ecosystem enables participatory processes and sustainable outcomes. One participant shared that donors are reluctant to invest in participatory grants and long-term investments in technologies.
  2. Using the principles requires flexibility and adaptivity, and being aware of your position and needs in the project cycle: experimentation, monitoring and evaluation, designing or scaling etc. How to get there? Some participants shared that a business leadership model could nourish a flexible mindset – working more agile and lean.
  3. And in the end, we should all keep the collaboration principle in mind to continuously learn from other approaches and sectors.

The Digital Principles: what are they?

The Principles for Digital Development are nine living guidelines designed to help integrate best practices into technology-enabled programs and are intended to be updated and refined over time. They are part of an ongoing effort among development practitioners to maximise the impact of digital interventions and share knowledge and support continuous learning. For each principle, you can find a comprehensive toolkit with core tenets, concrete recommendations and approaches linked to each phase of the project cycle. Eager to apply this in your work? Visit the website and explore it yourself:

The Nine Principles

Digital Principles as a Toolbox for effective digitalisation in Development

Technology and digitalisation offer huge potential to accelerate innovation, (cost) effectiveness and impact on international development cooperation. Yet there are many restricting barriers that limit organisations from reaching the full potential of their digital programs. One of the barriers that sit close to the Partos Innovation Hub’s mission is the lack of coordinated and collective learning on efficient digital approaches and best practices. Development organisations often work in silos and thereby risk developing existing digital tools, without learning from previous/concurrent efforts, re-using knowledge and improving existing products and approaches.

The Partos Innovation Hub believes that exchange, collaboration, and co-creation are key elements for meaningful and just digital intervention. We aim to create a space for learning and, beyond that, a community that is committed to sustainability, joint investments, and collective resource sharing. The Principles for Digital Development offer a framework to guide us through our quest to unlock the full impact of digitally-enabled programs and projects!

What else?

There are various ways to continue learning and get into action with the Digital Principles.

Welcome to the Digital Lab

The Partos Innovation Hub proudly announces the launch of its Digital Lab! This is a hybrid space where change-oriented individuals and organisations come together to learn and innovate on data and digitalisation. As the world is moving towards a new era in which digital technologies and data are inherent features, learning from each other’s experiences and best practices helps us thrive together!