Focusing on national digital strategies and agendas is a pathway for countries to accelerate progress on their targets to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the next ten years. However, global investment to support low- and middle-income countries adoption of digital technologies is often project- or sector-specific, compounding existing challenges for governments to keep pace with the digitalization trend in low-resource settings. Systematically they face the following challenges1:
- Coordination: Problems in coordination commonly occur in aligning ICT ministry work with that of other agencies.
- Siloes: Siloed investments and duplicative efforts by development partners promote fragmented digital governance and siloes in partner countries.
- Funding: Challenges in procuring and implementing affordable IT solutions persist, as do challenges in creating the necessary capital to invest in ICT infrastructure projects.
- Scaling: Huge challenges exist in adapting and investing in projects at scale, particularly around the rollout of physical ICT infrastructure, the deployment and use of common data platforms.
1According to the benchmarking study on digital economy called “Unlocking the Digital Economy in Africa: Benchmarking the Digital Transformation Journey”, conducted on ten countries including Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Niger, Senegal, and Sierra Leone. Published in August 2020 by DIAL and Smart Africa.
There is a pressing need for governments to integrate digital government solutions around the needs of citizens and businesses, but many countries do not have the resources to reinvent the wheel or have fragmented and duplicated investments that are difficult to sustain and scale. They need to invest in multi-purpose and cross-sector digital solutions which are easier to design, implement, and scale.
Currently, there is no existing open-source example or model for a government platform that is built from modular and reusable components, leveraging a secure and standards-based approach. Almost all investments in digital public goods are around standalone and siloed products that do not address the main bottleneck for scaling up which is how to create a “whole” out of individual solutions and components. This creates challenges in coordination between different digital projects and different sectors using digital technologies.
Read more about how our solution addresses these challenges.