DFID lays out three-year digital strategy to help create ‘transformed global aid system’

Department unveils plans to use digital in both its work delivering aid and its function as a part of government 

The Department for International Development has published a policy paper outlining its ambitions to increase the use of digital technologies in its aid programmes and internal operations. 

The Whitehall department has published a document detailing its digital strategy for the next three years. During that time, DFID will work to design and implement policy that maximises its use of digital in its delivery of programmes overseas, as well as it how it functions internally and works with the rest of Whitehall.

The department said that it intends to “support a transformed global aid system that is well-poised to harness the opportunities, and ready to rise to the challenges, of a digital world”. 

To which end, DFID will “will make greater and better use of digital technology to tackle global poverty” in three ways. 

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The first of these is to define what constitutes “good practice” in the use of digital technologies to deliver aid, and incorporate it into its own programmes. The second is to try and ensure more digital products and services reach the people they could most help. This will be achieved, DFID claimed, by promoting “common principles and standards for digital development throughout the aid system”. The final way will be to try and increase the availability of secure and affordable internet connections in developing countries. 

Closer to home, DFID also identified three ways it intends to play a role “in delivering on the vision of the UK Government Transformation Strategy for digital, data and technology”. 

The first of these is to “redesign services around the needs of our user” by better engaging with citizens, suppliers and other partner organisations. The second is to collaborate with other Whitehall entities via the development and maintenance of “common platforms, technologies, and systems”. The final way will be to better use data to design policy and deliver services. 

The department said: “Above all, we will champion a view of digital, data and technology as enablers rather than an end goal: the goal is in the material benefits delivered to people, particularly those who are most vulnerable and marginalised.”


Sam Trendall

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