Development Gateway: an IREX Venture (DG) envisions a world where institutions listen and respond to the needs of their constituents; are accountable; and are efficient in targeting and delivering services that improve lives. Today, we are announcing our strategy for the next steps in achieving that vision.
Today’s digital agenda presents a unique combination of opportunities and threats. These paradoxes of digital potential have only accelerated in recent years, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, we have reached a moment in digital development where public-serving institutions can do more with technology than ever before, but are often less trusted than ever to do so in just, equitable, and efficient ways. In this context of a crisis of digital trust, DG’s Mission is more important than ever.
The new Fiscal Year 2023 to 2025 Strategic Plan builds on two decades of supporting all levels of government, civil society organizations, and other development actors to thoughtfully deploy technology in ways that are sustainable and impactful. DG will continue to design technical tools and programs that meet the needs of public-serving institutions; advise on institutional digital strategy, global data policy, and the evaluation and use of emerging technologies; build scalable technologies that are user friendly, interoperable, and that support informed decision-making; and learn & share from our own experience overcoming barriers and challenges.
Recognizing that the growing demand for our work far exceeded our size and ability to deliver, in 2021 DG entered into a strategic partnership with IREX, becoming an IREX Venture and joining forces with a larger, global, mission-aligned nonprofit. This partnership represents a transformational opportunity to rapidly expand DG’s impact, while maintaining our quality, creativity, and contextualized approach to data and digital development. We will leverage our combined talent and strengths to address the new-to-DG thematic areas of underperforming educational institutions, marginalized youth, and distrust in public institutions and media. At the same time we will continue our work in health, extractives, open contracting, and data strategy, while diving deeper into our existing work in agriculture. Additionally, by embracing new approaches such as digital advisory services and responsibly piloting emerging technology we hope to greatly accelerate and scale up our impact.
To accelerate greater impact, we will expand our geographical footprint through our strategic relationship with IREX, marrying our organizational strengths and focusing on key regions where we project the greatest likelihood to bring about lasting results. We will partner with communities in new regions such as Central America and Eastern Europe, while expanding our existing portfolio in East, West, and Southern Africa.
By mainstreaming our approaches and skills into IREX’s work and partnerships, we will become exponentially more relevant to pressing issues of our time, and leverage learning to shape the thinking of our donors and partners. Together with IREX, DG will expand its role as a global leader in both data and digital for development, working toward a digital development agenda that builds trust between institutions and the constituents they serve.
To provide additional context and to make the Strategic Plan more accessible. We will be taking deep dives into the planning process and discussions with DGers about challenges, opportunities, and approaches for the new plan. Stay tuned to learn more!
To help contextualize the new Strategic Plan, we are launching a podcast series called Data… for What?! This series consists of 5 episodes in Josh Powell and Vanessa Goas talk to DGers throughout the organization – as well as collaborators within our strategic partner, IREX - about how and why we prioritized the various elements of the new strategy. In this first episode, we talk to Kristin Lord, President and CEO of IREX about how our partnership fits into the Strategic Plan; and to Aleks Dardelli, Executive Vice President of IREX and Chair of DG’s Board of Directors, about the process of putting the Plan together at this opportune, yet precarious, global moment.
In response to fertilizer availability challenges in sub-Saharan Africa which are fueled by the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine along with a host of pre-existing factors including COVID-19, VIFAA is now launching the Africa Fertilizer Watch to track regional and country-level market indicators, productivity and production distortions on food production and agriculture.
In an effort to minimize the effects of an imminent food crisis in Africa, Development Gateway and partners, Fertilizer Development Center and AfricaFertilizer.org, updated the Africa Fertilizer Watch Dashboard. The Dashboard tracks regional and country-specific impacts from elevated global fertilizer prices, limited supplier inventory, and decreased affordability at the farmer level, which includes data from ten countries in Eastern and Southern Africa.