Principle 7: Reuse and Improve


Instead of starting from scratch, programs that “reuse and improve” look for ways to adapt and enhance existing products, resources and approaches. Reuse means assessing what resources are currently available and using them as they are to meet program goals. Improve means modifying existing tools, products and resources to improve their overall quality, applicability and impact. Start by identifying relevant methods, standards, software platforms, technology tools and digital content that have already been tried and tested. You can learn about digital development tools that have been piloted or scaled through conferences, blogs, program evaluations and the digital development community. While an existing tool or approach may not exactly fit all your needs for reuse, consider improving and building on it, rather than creating something entirely new. The result is a tool that is now better and more reusable by all because of your improvements. Reusing and improving is not about designing shiny new objects or limiting a technology to internal use; it is about taking the work of the global development community further than any organization or program can do alone. Reusing and improving can also dramatically reduce the time needed for development and testing, and reduce your costs.