Principle 2: Understand the Existing Ecosystem
Well-designed initiatives and digital tools consider the particular structures and needs that exist in each country, region and community. Dedicating time and resources to analyze the ecosystem, or context where you work, helps to ensure that selected technology tools will be relevant and sustainable and will not duplicate existing efforts. Ecosystems are defined by the culture, gender norms, political environment, economy, technology infrastructure and other factors that can affect an individual’s ability to access and use a technology or to participate in an initiative. Initiatives that do not account for ecosystem challenges are less likely to achieve their objectives or scale. This may also lead to unintended consequences. The ecosystem is fluid, multifaceted and ever-changing, requiring that digital development practitioners regularly analyze the context to check their assumptions.