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Implementing the Principles for Digital Development

Principles2From Principle to Practice: Implementing the Principles for Digital Development is a report written by Adele Waugaman, under the framework of the Principles for Digital Development Working Group.

According to the author, this report incorporates the results of a comprehensive and detailed survey regarding these principles, including a large set of individuals representing over 100 organizations working in international development. It illustrates their experiences, insights, questions, and recommendations regarding the state-of-the-art and tries to shed light on possible guidelines that could be adopted through this digital development process.

All of the Principles are high-level concepts that should be considered, ideally before funding, designing, or implementing any technology supported development work. Moreover, their role is limited to guidance, not edict, that is designed to be updated over time as the technology and development landscapes change. Finally, they intend to support well-informed decision- making about technology-supported development work.


Putting the Principles into practice requires an investment of time, attention, information, and technical expertise. Yet even with these investments, challenges remain. These challenges include tensions between individual Principles, and systemic challenges that face the global development sector more broadly.

The recommendations reported in this case target to the creation of a digital development capacity supported from the bottom up, and regulated from the top down. In order to succeed this, the recommendations proposed include actions suck as to have an institutional vision and strategy supporting the integration of digital development best practice; to ensure implementation of the strategy is adequately staffed and resourced, and supported by enabling policies and processes; and to commit to integrating best practice into business processes.

You can find more information about the Principles for Digital Development Working Group and the full report here.