Principles for Digital Development

Share, reuse, and improve

Build on what works, improve what works, and share so that others can do the same. 

Avoid innovation for the sake of innovation

To share, reuse, and improve is, in essence, to collaborate. Collaboration is essential to achieving our shared vision of a more equitable world. We have the most impact when we share information, insights, strategies, and resources across silos related to geographies, focus areas, and organizations. By sharing, reusing, and improving existing initiatives, we pool our collective resources and expertise, and avoid costly duplication and fragmentation. Ideally, this leads to streamlined services for people.

This can apply to technology products, services, research, or policies. 

This requires organized and accessible documentation, and is greatly facilitated by adopting open standards, building for interoperability and extensibility; using open source software; and contributing to open source communities.

Following this principle can save time and money, promote collaboration and the sharing of knowledge, and lead to better products and services through continuous improvement.

Forgoing this principle in favor of do-it-alone approaches leads to wasted resources (particularly problematic in the case of public donor funds), limited innovation and improvement, and undue burden on people that can hinder trust and participation.