Digital Public Goods Alliance
The Digital Public Goods Alliance is a multi-stakeholder initiative with a mission to accelerate the attainment of the sustainable development goals in low- and middle-income countries by facilitating the discovery, development, use of, and investment in digital public goods.
Digital public goods are open source software, open data, open AI models, open standards and open content that adhere to privacy and other applicable laws and best practices, do no harm by design, and help attain the SDGs.
Incubated by The Government of Norway and The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the DPGA relies on engagement and leadership from pathfinder countries, private sector technology experts, think tanks, governments, philanthropic donors, international implementing organizations, and the UN.
The DPGA is governed by an Interim Strategy Group consisting of: The Government of Sierra Leone; The Government of Norway; iSPIRT; and UNICEF. Day to day functions are steered by the Secretariat of the Digital Public Goods Alliance, which is co-hosted by UNICEF and Norad.
The DPGA also uses a Roadmap as a coordination, alignment, engagement and communication tool to capture the activities of DPGA members working to significantly advance the four DPGA strategic objectives described in the our 5 year strategy. Members include: members of the ISG; BMZ; GitHub; The Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology; UNDP; and UN Global Pulse.
Identify open source solutions that contribute to an equitable world and adhere to the DPG Standard. Communities of Practices also identify, evaluate, and support DPGs in priority areas.
Increase access to solutions via the creation of the DPG Registry. The registry serves as a one-stop-shop for digital public goods.
Deploy solutions at scale. We engage with pathfinder countries to share DPGs that already exist in their country, and adapt applicable solutions to scale through their national systems.
The Digital Public Goods Alliance is part of the response to the universal call to end poverty, protect the planet, and improve the lives and prospects of everyone, everywhere. Below is an overview of milestones that got us to where we are today.
The sustainable development goals are issued – an ambitious agenda to protect people and the planet endorsed by 193 UN member states.
The UN has identified over a thousand distinct mechanisms related to digital cooperation, demonstrating the intrinsic need to embrace technological advancements in development.
The UN Secretary-General convenes the High-Level Expert Panel on Digital Cooperation to consider the ways we can work together to address the social, ethical, legal, and economic impact of digital technologies, to maximise their benefits, and minimise their harm. The panel is meant to advance proposals that strengthen cooperation in the digital space.
“The Age of Digital Interdependence” is released by the panel to help foster greater digital cooperation and advance digital public goods. Recommendation 1B of the report stated, “We recommend 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.”
The DPGA is guided by the release of the UN Secretary-General’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation, defining a digital public good as “Open source software, open data, open AI models, open standards and open content that adhere to privacy and other applicable international and domestic laws, standards and best practices, and do no harm.”
Guided by a clear mission to advocate for the discovery, use, and deployment of digital public goods, the DPGA establishes the foundational tools meant to help achieve their mission including the DPG Standard and DPG Registry.
The 75th Anniversary of the UN in 2020 presents the “Global Commitment for Digital Cooperation” enshrining goals, principles, and priority actions.
The timeline for the flagship ambition of the Sustainable Development Goals: to end extreme poverty by 2030. Improved digital cooperation will need to play a vital role in meeting this goal.