Digital Principles Community Spotlight: Amjad Hiary

The Principles for Digital Development community aims to connect ICT4D, information technology, and international aid and humanitarian development practitioners with thoughtful curated content, relevant conversation and quality opportunities to improve their work. As a global public good, ensuring these resources are as accessible to as many audiences as possible is central to our values and work; that is why we rely on engaged and active members of the community to add to the wealth of knowledge products.   

Amjad Hiary, a member of the Digital Principles community, is a good example of what it means to an active participant and contributor to our resource library, having voluntarily translated all the Digital Principles core tenet documents into Arabic. He completed this work with the help of an intern late last year and we are pleased to now have finalized resources available on our website! 

Amjad has over 19 years of experience working in IT and has been involved in development and ICT4D since 2006, though he had not come across the Digital Principles until last summer. 

“I was happy to see the Digital Principles existed and was impressed by everything the community had done,” said Amjad. “I am the kind of person who wants to be involved in this kind of work.” 

Some of his previous work involves strengthening the role of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) at Global Health Development (GHD) and The Eastern Mediterranean Public Health Network (EMPHNET) by creating technology-driven tools and solutions that serve public health needs and development. He has also implemented behavior change projects with USAID and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health – Center for Communication Programs, and worked to support the roll-out of the Effective Vaccine Management (EVM) 2.0 tool with WHO and UNICEF. Currently, Amjad is the CEO and founder of ISEET, an organization that seeks to accelerate digital transformation by offering digital innovative solutions to improve organizational technology capabilities. 

Amjad’s quickly recognize the value of the Digital Principles and was eager to engage on the Forum and contribute to library of materials. After discussion with the Digital Principles team and other community members, he decided that translating resources into Arabic was key to sharing Principles resources with new audiences. 

When we asked him why he was so keen to volunteer this time to this project, he replied, “The Principles are key to developing sustainable digital projects and there is a need for greater awareness among global organizations implementing this kind of work.”  

Similar sentiments have been echoed by many in our sector. Due to challenges, such as lack of capacity, partner issues, and budget, many innovative digital solutions have failed – however, Amjad noted, many reasons are predictable and preventable. He continued to emphasize that the Digital Principles are not always easy to implement in practice, and the resources and case-study examples shared among the Digital Principles community is useful for designing sustainable programs.  

“I hope that by making these resources and promotional materials available in new languages that we can better target organizations that should be using them,” he concluded. 

Amjad’s desire and active participation in growing the knowledge and wealth of resources freely available to the community is a clear example of how the network plays a key role to ensuring the Digital Principles are relevant and useful.  

Claudine Lim

Manager at The Principles for Digital Development

Claudine first joined the Digital Impact Alliance in October 2017, shortly after receiving a dual masters in international relations and public relations from the Maxwell School and S.I. Newhouse School at Syracuse University. After working as a Program Coordinator and Researcher for DIAL’s Business Operations, she is currently working with the Principles of Digital Development.