Scaling Growth within The Digital Principles Community

A critical driver of success for businesses and nonprofits alike is being part of relevant communities. When we at Baobab Consulting learned about the Digital Principles, we were thrilled to join a community that embraces the use of technology as an integral part of today’s work as it aligns with our commitment as one of Africa’s remote-first companies. 

Endorsing the Digital Principles was an exciting moment for us. We were eager to see how we could share our experience in running business operations remotely, and thereby enable other companies–particularly those who are not well versed in using digital tools–to implement tried and tested methods. Most importantly, we were proud to join a community and learn from 275 endorsers working across the world to improve digital inclusion, including organizations such as Gates Foundation, IBM, The World Bank, and USAID . 

Our company was founded remotely in Senegal in 2016 and has grown to be one of the leading Africa-focused social impact firms. Although we were initially unfamiliar with the Principles for Digital Development, we were already applying some of them to our work. From our early days as co-founders using Google Docs and WhatsApp to growing an organization of over 40 people spanning different time zones, cultures, and digital literacy levels, we have had to relentlessly innovate through the Principles to build a digital, Pan-African culture across the company.

When we were approached by the Digital Impact Alliance to find a French-speaking trainer for Plan International’s Digital Principles 101 Workshop, we were eager to assist. In June 2021, we facilitated two virtual training sessions for over 40 Plan International team members using the Digital Principles 101 Facilitation Guide. Both anglophone and francophone participants took part in hands-on activities centered on how to apply the Principles to their development work.

Besides providing Plan International with our facilitation and event management services, this opportunity allowed us to integrate the Principles in our internal onboarding processes. We onboarded two of our colleagues, Waithera Wambugu and Maher Abderrahman, based in Kenya and Tunisia respectively, to assist during the sessions, thus providing them the information and space to be trained on how to adapt the Principles internally at Baobab Consulting. The 101 Digital Principle course, alongside the self-paced modules, were instrumental to this objective. Today, both of them are staff members who are data-driven, design programs with the end user in mind, and use open innovation while handling their responsibilities within the organization. We are excited to see the release of two additional courses. The 201 course will provide guidance on implementing the Digital Principles along every phase of the project cycle, while the 301 course will help us develop Principles-based work plans. Overall, these courses will strengthen our implementation of the Principles and onboarding of other colleagues. 

Baobab Consulting remains committed to being an active member of the Digital Principles Community by sharing our knowledge and expertise, running programs, leading training sessions, and learning from others.

Liz Grossman Kitoyi

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Baobab Consulting

Tayib Fall

Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer at Baobab Consulting