Digital Public Goods Alliance

The UN Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation, in its report published on June 10th 2019, recommends (as 1B) “that a broad, multi-stakeholder alliance, involving the UN, create a platform for sharing digital public goods, engaging talent and pooling data sets, in a manner that respects privacy, in areas related to attaining the SDGs”.

With the encouragement of UN Secretary-General Antònio Guterres; Norway, Sierra Leone, UNICEF and iSPIRT are collaborating closely with other stakeholders to implement this recommendation.

These actors have agreed to jointly initiate the establishment of an Alliance and Platform for digital public goods  as recommended in the High-level Panel report – to ensure that fair, equitable, and open access to these critical new tools for human development is available globally. This will involve  efforts to ensure that the use and sharing of such tools becomes more mainstream within the development community, and that the private sector contributes more to developing and scaling up digital public goods (DPGs).

An Interim Advisory Group (IAG), composed of representatives from the private sector, open source businesses, academia, non-governmental organizations, governments, and the UN, is being set up to help guide this process and provide expert advice . 

Distribution and support for scaling

The Alliance is developing strategies and partnerships to  support the uptake and localization of digital public goods. This work will take differing forms depending on the type of digital public good and the intended end user, from facilitating access to support systems and communities of practice, to building partnerships with technology companies and mobile network operators to reach end users at scale.

Financing new DPGs and helping new sustainability models emerge

As it becomes clearer where new and adapted technologies are most needed, various modalities will be explored for incentivizing the development of, upkeep and new iterations of digital public goods. Resources from existing mechanisms for funding digital public goods, such as the UNICEF Innovation Fund, will be leveraged. This will include both traditional donor or private sector funding and support, as well as blockchain-based solutions for connecting needs, contributors, and incentives in a more distributed way.