Principles for Design & Development

A Fresh Look and New Tools

The Principles for Digital Development Working Group is seven months into an effort to increase the dialogue among donors and implementing partners about ways to institutionalize best practice in technology-supported development projects.

Not yet part of this discussion? Join us!

Today we’re pleased to bring you a refreshed website including new tools that highlight community discussion of the Principles through the Principles Working Group meetings held to date. This post provides an overview of what’s new, plus takes a quick look back over the past seven months and at what’s ahead.

Our new site is live!

Starting today, you’ll notice the website has a refreshed, streamlined interface designed to enable users to quickly navigate through resources with further information about each Principle.

You’ll also find new tools, including “Community Insights” posts that capture highlights of Working Group meetings that have discussed each Principle in detail.

See something missing from these Community Insights posts? Use the comments section to have your say. Feedback collected through the Working Group meetings and from the comments on this site will be aggregated in a report on moving from Principles to practice due out later this year.

We’ll be adding new tools in the months ahead, including a white label PPT version of the Principles, and an ‘Event-In-A-Box’ toolkit for partners interested in hosting their own Principles-focused events.

Highlights from the Working Group to date

The first Principle Working Group meeting was held in July 2014. Since then, over 500 individuals representing more than 100 organizations have participated in one of eight Working Group meetings held to date.

These meetings have included a deep dive into each of the first seven Principles, plus one stocktaking meeting to assess progress and collect feedback on the Principles Working Group.

In addition to these Working Group convenings, the Principles for Digital Development have been discussed on panels, in workshops, and in side events held in the context of larger events like the mHealth Summit and M&E Tech. Together, these events have spanned Accra, Baltimore, Helsinki, London, Nairobi, New York, and San Francisco.

We’ve also seen reference to the Principles turn up in some exciting places, including publications; internal staff trainings; job descriptions; graduate school course curriculum, and in savvy funding proposals.

How is your organization integrating the Principles? Let us know in the comments section below.

A look ahead

At various Principles events over the past seven months we’ve been documenting the discussion, and inviting those interested in sharing their challenges (either with attribution or anonymously) in implementing the Principles.

This information is being used in two ways.

First, USAID and other donors are undergoing a procurement reform process. Challenges surfaced through the Working Group meetings will help inform recommendations that flow through to guide the reform process. This process will continue over the next year.

Second, USAID will produce a report that wraps community discussion, including tensions between and challenges in implementing the Principles, together with case studies, tools, interviews, and more. A draft of the report is anticipated for Fall 2015.

Meantime the Working Group is meeting twice more: today in New York City to discuss Principle 8: Address Privacy & Security, and then again in mid-June to discuss Principle 9: Be Collaborative. Watch the listserv for announcements about and notes from those meetings.

Have a comment on or suggestion for the Principles or the Working Group? Let us know!

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