Introducing the Digital Principles Advisory Council for 2021-2023
The Principles for Digital Development champion cross-sector collaboration, open knowledge sharing, and community-driven solutions. Since assuming stewardship in 2016, we’ve strived to live these values in practice, knowing the most effective way to respond to the rapidly evolving needs and gaps in the digital ecosystem was to work directly with individuals that make up our community. Thus, in 2018, the team established the first Digital Principles Advisory Council to guide the program’s priorities, future investments, and projects.
In that time, the Council helped the team achieve several milestones: from having IBM sign on as the first private sector endorser, to formalizing partnerships with youth-led groups, to integrating the Digital Principles in donor and digital health strategies – our Council Members have been instrumental in establishing the relevance and use of the Digital Principles in their respective networks.
“The Digital Principles team and the Advisory Council gave me hope that there can be spirited dialogue from different perspectives,” said Jaclyn Carlsen, former Council Member. “We, together, can be less polarized and shape, if not nudge, the impact of technology on different communities.”
And just as the Digital Principles are meant to be refreshed over time, the same applies to our leadership. The nomination period for five open seats on the Council opened in late Fall 2019. The Selection Committee was comprised of former Council Members, DIAL representatives, and other key actors in the digital development space* who convened twice to create a shortlist of candidates from the nearly 40 submissions*, and then again to reach final decisions. After a period of deliberation over the holidays, we are humbled to introduce our newly appointed members:
Directorate of Digital Development at National Planning Department, Government of Colombia
Dr. Ronda Železný-Green
The Internet Society
The David and Lucille Packard Foundation
United Nations Development Programme
“It is an honor to serve on the Digital Principles Advisory Council, particularly as someone who applies these important principles regularly in her work,” shared Dr. Ronda Železný-Green. “I look forward to being a voice on the Advisory Council to accelerate collective efforts to advance the empowerment of Black people, women, people with disabilities, and other marginalized populations in ICT4D.”
The five new members individuals will join Nora Lindström (Finland), Dr. Henry Mwanyika (Tanzania), and Lilian Nduati (Kenya), who will continue their tenure. Some key priorities for the new Council include instituting the Digital Principles as a business standard, developing training and curriculum, and reviewing the potential of a future Digital Principles refresh. However, Council Members will guide other programmatic priorities and needs.
Sahil Tandon noted: “Recent times, raging with social, political, environmental and health crises, have shed light on the inadequacy of conventional models, indicating at the need for more innovative and transformative approaches to the world’s concerns. The Digital Principles’ efforts to coalesce key stakeholders and diverse communities for concerted efforts in this conversation can serve as the necessary catalyst in facilitating the most beneficial and responsible digital transformations.”
The Advisory Council will meet for the first time this month and we are confident the cohort will increase the ability of the Digital Principles to enable best technology practices, create a culture of cogent purpose and community, generate new approaches in diverse sectors, and empower global actors and our stakeholders to build and sustain strong, equitable societies. And they will inspire new ways to engage the Digital Principles’ greatest asset—our community, partners, and colleagues.
“I am wishing the next cohort a wonderful experience, and hope [they] shake up the field a bit!” finished Carlsen. “Make bold statements, challenge power, tell donors when they are being ridiculous, and give voice to less represented perspectives. I will be cheering you on.”
Cheers to that and to a new chapter for the Digital Principles!
*Maria Zaghi and Rachel Sibande were committed to serve on the Selection Committee but were unable to participate due to last minute personal conflicts.
*For more information on Council Members, visit our Team page.
*The nominee data breakdown was as follows:
20 Female; 19 Male
9 Africa; 5 Asia; 2 Europe; 3 Latin America; 18 North America; 2 Global
5 Donor; 12 Implementer; 22 Other