Principles for Digital Development

Create open and transparent practices

Effective digital initiatives establish confidence and good governance through measures that promote open innovation and collaboration.

To establish and maintain trust in the digital ecosystem, it is necessary for all people—whether or not they are directly impacted by a given initiative—to have confidence in digital policies, services, and systems and the associated data handling. This confidence is nurtured through open and transparent practices, which in turn foster accountability.

Open and transparent practices can include but are not limited to: clear and accountable governance structures that define roles and responsibilities; open and proactive communication, decisions, policies, and practices; mechanisms that allow stakeholders to provide feedback, ask questions, and raise concerns; and quick and transparent responses to feedback.

In terms of technical design, open and transparent practices can include the use of agile methodologies, open standards, open data, open source, and open innovation.

When organizations do not prioritize transparency and openness, it results in a lack of or loss of trust. Trust is critical to encourage participation, and without it, people will rationally choose to avoid the risks associated with engaging with digital services and sharing their data – thus foregoing any potential benefits.