Panelists presenting at AGRF 2023

Three Key Takeaways From Discussions on Digital Transformation in Agriculture

November 16, 2023 Agriculture
Beverley Hatcher-Mbu, Wakini Njogu
News/Events

Development Gateway: An IREX Venture (DG) hosted a discussion titled “Transforming Food Systems: The Power of Interoperability and Partnerships” at both Africa Food Systems Forum (AGRF) 2023 and the recently concluded ICT4Ag conference. Discussions from these critical events revolved around key themes crucial to DG’s ongoing work, including connecting people, institutions, partners, and systems when we think about technology working at scale to transform agriculture.

 

Reflecting on our participation in both AGRF and ICT4Ag, three items still stand out in particular as conversations around the digital transformation of agriculture continue into 2024:                                                                               

 

A culture of data sharing from the top-down is key 

One central point emphasized during the summit was the need for policy-making around data sharing. This illuminates a long-standing issue: decisions around agriculture aren’t just made at the national level but are part of regional value chains for which a lot of data travels from country to country. 

Oftentimes, a high-level decision to mandate data sharing from the top-down can be the most effective way to establish a broader culture of data for decision-making. As we’ve observed, working on data-sharing policies or protocols project by project is extremely time- and energy-intensive. As cycles change, staff turnover with the end of projects and the beginning of new ones, and all of the work that goes into data-sharing piece by piece often gets lost or interrupted. One avenue to address this is through the use of international or regional policy treaties and conventions to push for data sharing at a broader, even continental level in Africa. This concept was discussed in several sessions and events throughout AGRF 2023 and is worth broader consideration.

At DG, this is a conversation we’re actively having as part of the aLIVE project in Ethiopia. Recently, we held talks with Ethiopia’s Minister of Agriculture, stressing that data-sharing piece by piece isn’t the most strategic approach; rather, the government could pass a high-level policy establishing a broad, collaborative approach to data sharing, so others can focus on doing the work of bringing the different data together and fixing the issue of data unavailability. Ethiopia’s recently approved data protection law is a great start. 

Separately, the elephant in the room continues to be the integration of private sector data. A perception persists, even among the summit attendees, that not all stakeholders want to share their data. A significant realization (one we’ve also had through DG’s VIFAA program in Nigeria) was that the private sector, which is often perceived as reluctant to share data, could be incentivized to do so through assurance that such sharing wouldn’t place them at a strategic disadvantage. This is another important reason that a top-down approach can be pivotal.

“Part of data-sharing guidelines is [to lower the risk of] data sharing for the private sector by equalizing the playing field. If competitors also have to share their data, no one company is at a disadvantage.”

Rose Goslinga, Founder, Pula Advisors

Harmonization still needs to drive agriculture systems and effective policy-making

With the rise of generative AI, machine learning, and the data lakes that will power these innovations, interoperability is a fundamental prerequisite for scaling AgTech. True interoperability, in the form of real-time connected systems and datasets, will be difficult to institute and scale without harmonization and standardization of data first, or at least in parallel. 

Investment in data harmonization requires work in breaking down existing silos—another reason the top-down approach to data sharing can be critical. Ultimately, this work leads to the development of shared indicators and subsequently, shared high-quality data. When we think about viability and interoperability, it’s on two levels: standardizing systems with data that can be aggregated, but it’s also about making better choices to not endlessly create new systems when existing ones with better resourcing could fill that need.

“Superimposed data tells a better story.”

Ousmane Koane, Program Manager, DG
Dive Deeper

The Sudan case study, produced through the IFAD-funded Digital Advisory Support Services for Accelerated Rural Transformation (DAS) Program, is a good example. The team advised the Integrated Agricultural and Marketing Development Project (IFAD) to foster partnerships aimed at adopting and adapting existing digital tools (rather than developing new tools) and on the value of choosing to invest their funds to scale instead.

Localization must be built into technology development

Challenges remain in the expansion of digital space and the localization of content. Language barriers, particularly in content localization, were identified as significant hurdles. While localization was unanimously recognized as indispensable, the process was acknowledged to be resource-intensive. Additionally, the nuanced complexities of different dialects and cultural contexts were highlighted, emphasizing the need for meticulous attention to detail in content translation and adaptation.

So far, DG is making progress in localizing content by translating it into French and Arabic as part of the IFAD-funded Digital Agriculture Resources Hub. We’ve found that it takes time to find the right kind of translation to make sure that our content is localized appropriately, especially with concepts and ideas that are complex to explain in any language. For instance, a language such as Arabic is not mutually intelligible. Arabic speakers from North Africa or East Africa aren’t always going to understand Arabic that is spoken and translated by someone who is an Arabic speaker from Saudi Arabia.

A group of panelists and participants at AGRF 2023.

Way Forward

So what’s the way forward? Firstly, there is a need to consider data availability not merely as a technicality but as a powerful tool for decreasing risk around critical decisions for individuals and organizations alike. Access to key data and information can go a long way in helping everyone who works at the intersection of agriculture and technology and can build new, efficient processes for decision-making for governments, farmers, and the private sector. 

In addition, we must shift toward a holistic approach to agriculture. This approach would necessitate moving beyond the siloed perspective of individual crop value chains, encouraging stakeholders to envision agriculture as an integrated system where every component plays a vital role. 

Finally, we must recognize that localization is not merely a point of interest to a project. Rather, localization must be a core part of the development stage in order to ensure the work is truly designed in accordance with the country or regional context. Adequate resources and strategic planning are essential components of successful content localization initiatives, and organizations should establish these values in their work at the outset. 

Share

Recent Posts

Episode 1, Season 3 | Why We Need Good Data & Digital Infrastructure for Climate Adaptation

In episode 1, Season 3 of “Data…for What?!,” Vanessa Goas and special guest Sebastian Öhmann, Advisor of the Data Economy Initiative inside the Global Project of Digital Transformation from GIZ, discuss data and digital transformation in relation to climate change adaptation and specifically focusing on climate finance.

November 21, 2023  
How Increasing Trust Can Help to Deliver the 2030 Agenda

The Festival De Datos is here, marking a pivotal moment to assess our journey with data for development. At DG, we've championed leveraging data and tech for a more equitable, sustainable world. But to fulfill this vision, we need to push for a fair data future and establish a culture of trust and cooperation in data use.

November 7, 2023 Global Data Policy
Democratizing Digital or Digitizing Democracy?

The 2023 OGP Summit in Tallinn, Estonia featured a number of discussions centered on open government in the digital age. While the use of digital tools in government is far from a new idea, the COVID-19 pandemic spurred a rapid expansion of this practice, with leaders quickly adapting to remote environments through digitizing government processes

September 19, 2023 Global Data Policy
Credit: Matt Rubens / Flickr

How Increasing Trust Can Help to Deliver the 2030 Agenda

November 7, 2023 Global Data Policy
Josh Powell, Rebecca Warner
Data Use, Thought Leadership

As the Festival de Datos gets underway in Uruguay this week, hundreds of government officials, civil society leaders, academics, and policy-makers are gathering to take stock of the data for development agenda. By design, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have long held close ties to the UN data revolution, a movement aiming to leverage our ever-increasing access to data, and acknowledging the huge potential of that data to act as a source for good, informing and transforming society and protecting the environment.

Yet, since the data revolution was launched in 2015, we have increasingly seen fundamental challenges take the fore around power, privacy, and participation.  This year’s explosion in the oft-questionable use of data in fueling innovation in emerging technology, most notably in generative AI, has accelerated the need to confront the potential threats of data misuse, particularly in countries with closed and closing civic spaces. As trust in institutions sags globally, with it, trust in those institutions to use data safely and effectively suffers. This deficit of trust is occurring at a time when there is more data and more technological innovation than ever before, and therefore more opportunity for misuse – intentional or otherwise.

DG has long believed in harnessing the power of data and technology to drive progress toward a more sustainable, equitable, and prosperous world. But in order to live up to these promises, we must work together for a fair data future, one that supports people in how they are represented in data and includes those who have long been left out altogether. Fully distilled, the original promise of the data revolution can only be realized within a culture of trust.

Trust is a core component in successful data governance

Trust is the foundation for – and can be the result of – good data governance, data sharing, and data use. My colleague Kristin Lord, the CEO of our partner organization IREX, writes that trust is the basis of all effective relationships, and this is no less true when it comes to the use of data and technology. A high-trust ecosystem provides the conditions in which good data governance, efficient data sharing, and responsible and impactful data use can flourish.

When it comes to data governance systems, trust serves as the foundation and the mortar, underpinning the successful implementation and broad acceptance of these systems, and bridging the needs and interests of different constituencies. People need assurance that their data will be handled responsibly, ethically, and securely, and this is especially important in our broader culture of data misuse and faulty protections by private entities and governments alike. A robust data governance framework that prioritizes transparency, enforceable accountability, and explicit data protection fosters this trust. Public trust in data governance not only ensures compliance with regulations but also encourages participation in data collection efforts, thereby enhancing the accuracy and comprehensiveness of the data. Ultimately, this trust forms the basis for the effective use of data by organizations and governments alike to address societal challenges and support sustainable development efforts.

Trust is also required to “create the conditions to create.” The use of digital technology has exploded and innovation in this field continues to grow. So as we face new issues with data, particularly with the advent of frontier AI, and other new technology, building trust is essential. 

How can we build trust in data + digital tools

Institutionalized transparency + accountability (including credible and enforceable data governance systems and policies). In an era where information is a source of power, the open and transparent governance of data is crucial to foster public confidence and trust. Further, we can reinforce this trust by having clear and credible mechanisms for holding entities accountable for their actions and decisions, ensuring they are answerable for any misuse or breaches of data. Establishing strong transparency and accountability not only mitigates risks but also encourages user engagement and confidence, laying the foundation for sustainable relationships and positive societal impact.

Inclusive, participatory processes that give people the ability to effect change. People deserve a say in data design and collection that impacts them. Despite considerable progress over the years, whole groups of people are not being counted and their exclusion prevents a fair and equitable approach to data-informed decision making. Ultimately, active participation not only enhances the quality and relevance of the data collected, but also ensures that it’s put to use responding to people’s direct needs.

For instance, in our Data on Youth and Tobacco in Africa project, DG is working on filling the data gaps on adolescent tobacco use, and particularly focusing on groups that have not been counted in the past, like out-of-school youth and girls.

Demonstrating genuine value from data. Kristin Lord rightfully pointed out that “the surest path to trust is for institutions to do their jobs well and provide real value to citizens.” There is still a lot of work to be done here when it comes to ensuring projects are designed with the people most affected in mind, and even more so in establishing a clear linkage between data and impacts that improve lives. Establishing clear causal pathways and impact metrics, and ensuring that projects are held accountable to the impact they promise, remains an important area of growth. When our projects rely on public participation to ensure that tools and solutions are designed for people’s needs, we owe these collaborators proof of delivery if we want them to trust us as partners in the future. 

The United Nations’ 2023 Hangzhou Declaration communicated a renewed commitment, revitalized energy, and accelerated action to ensure that high-quality, timely, open, and inclusive data are the heart of realizing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This week, let’s realign on goals and recall that data needs to serve everyone, and getting it right can empower us to use information to solve society’s problems, rather than create new ones. By building a stronger culture of trust and cooperation, we can uphold the promise of the data revolution and transform our world for the better.

DG Launches Digital Agriculture Resources Portal to Advance Digital Agriculture in Africa, the Middle East, & Central Asia

September 12, 2023 Agriculture Joshua Mbai
Program

Development Gateway: An IREX Venture (DG) is pleased to announce the launch of our Digital Agriculture Knowledge Management Library, which is a digital repository of resources detailing digital agriculture best practices. These resources were created to support individuals and groups across Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia as they adopt and use digital tools and technologies to strengthen rural agriculture systems. The Digital Agriculture Knowledge Management Library was developed through DG’s Digital Agriculture Services for Accelerated Rural Transformation (DAS) Program.

About the DAS Program

DG’s DAS Program aims to close the gap in digital tools and information access for smallholder farmers. The ultimate aim of the program is to create resilient food systems across Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia.

The DAS program—which launched in March 2022 and will continue through March 2025—is funded through the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and implemented in partnership with Jengalab and TechChange.

What is Digital Agriculture and Why is it Necessary?

Digital agriculture is the use of digital tools and technologies (also known as AgTech) in order to improve crop yields, increase productivity and profitability, and/or manage livestock. For example, a farmer using an app to track weather patterns in order to determine the best time to plant a particular crop is one example of how a digital agriculture tool (in this case the app) can support farmers. Laws, policies, and guidelines—created by governments or organizations—that specify the use of digital agriculture tools are also necessary for effective implementation of digital agriculture.

The future of  resilient food systems, food security, and economic wellbeing of rural communities depends on the advancement of digital tools and platforms that will allow for timely and data-informed decisions across the whole region. Therefore, the Digital Agriculture Knowledge Management Library will equip stakeholders with knowledge, best practices, and guides to develop, implement, and scale the use of agricultural digital tools and technologies. 

Creating the Digital Agriculture Knowledge Management Library

DG’s long-held emphasis on co-design was especially helpful in developing the resources in the Digital Agriculture Knowledge Management Library. The resources were developed through collaborative ideation and validation with various IFAD stakeholders, including  farmers, governments, and civil society organizations that are working with the DAS program to implement their digital agriculture systems. 

Currently, the Digital Agriculture Knowledge Management Library has eight resources. An additional 16 resources will be developed by the DAS program. The available resources include, but are not limited, to:

  • “Do it yourself” guides that provide accessible instructions on how to design and implement specific activities within digital agriculture programming;
  • Policy guidelines on suggested requirements for creating policies on implementing and regulating digital agricultural tools and practices among rural farming communities; and
  • Best practices and case studies, which dive deep into the processes and procedures that had positive outcomes when the DAS program implemented digital agriculture tools and systems in specific locations.   

These resources are particularly aimed at supporting: government actors that are developing policies and programs to accelerate the use of digital agriculture; community-based, IFAD-funded programs that are doing the day-to-day work of implementing digital agriculture at the local level; and IFAD staff who are facilitating global learning on the use of digital tools across location.

Stakeholders are hungry to understand lessons learned in digital agriculture and build on what others have done. Having a simple, navigable site packed with case studies and guides can help fill this gap.

Beverley Hatcher-Mbu, DG's Deputy Director of Programs

Check out the Digital Agriculture Knowledge Management Library now and be on the lookout for additional resources being added in the future! 

Share

Related Posts

Two Recommendations for Accelerating Digital Agriculture and Data Use

With the aim of improving the efficiency of agriculture data use, Development Gateway: An IREX Venture (DG), Jengalab, and TechChange—with a grant from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)—recently held a learning event, titled “Digital Agriculture: Building the Agricultural Systems of Tomorrow,” in Nairobi, Kenya. Participants identified two key recommendations for advancing digital agriculture in order to increase food security.

August 29, 2023 Agriculture
Photo by @irewoledeIrewolede on Unsplash
Launching: Digital Advisory Support Services for Accelerated Rural Transformation (DAS)

The Digital Advisory Support Services for Accelerated Rural Transformation (DAS) Program launched in March 2022 and will go through March 2025. Development Gateway: an IREX Venture (DG) will implement the grant in partnership with Jengalab and TechChange to advance Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) in the agricultural sector across Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia.

October 21, 2022 Agriculture
Photo by Maninderjeet Singh Sidhu via Unsplash
Farmer-Centric Data Governance Assessment: A New Paradigm For LMICs

Our objective in the DAI Farmer-Centric Data Governance Project is to demonstrate opportunities of emerging user-centric models and actions required to create an enabling environment of socio-technical factors needed for implementation.

September 6, 2022 Agriculture

Two Recommendations for Accelerating Digital Agriculture and Data Use

August 29, 2023 Agriculture Development Gateway
Data Use, News/Events

With the aim of improving the efficiency of agriculture data use, Development Gateway: An IREX Venture (DG), Jengalab, and TechChange—with a grant from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)—recently held a learning event, titled “Digital Agriculture: Building the Agricultural Systems of Tomorrow,” in Nairobi, Kenya. The event marked the one year anniversary since the start of the Digital Advisory Support Services for Accelerated Rural Transformation (DAS) Program, implemented by DG through funding from IFAD and in partnership with Jengalab and TechChange.

Attendees at the event included: regional and country-level government decision-makers; government digital practitioners and advisors; actors from the private sector; development partners; and other implementing partners who are key actors or experts in digital agriculture. Because the event brought agriculture experts together from across sectors, discussions included how best to collaboratively address current issues from a variety of digital approaches and skill sets across different agriculture subsectors.   

Participants spent the two-day event discussing how digital agriculture and the necessary infrastructure can be used to drive digital transformation, which is at the top of many African countries’ agendas. Participants explored: the differences between digitalization and digitization; the importance of data security and privacy; and the need to support farmers in adopting technological solutions.     

From these and other discussions, participants identified two key recommendations (below) for advancing digital agriculture in order to increase food security. In order to better understand these recommendations, we’ll explore what digital agriculture is and both the promise and current barriers that accompany digital agriculture.    

What is Digital Agriculture?

Digital agriculture is a term used to refer to the use of digital tools and technologies (also known as AgTech) in order to improve crop yields, increase productivity and profitability, and/or manage livestock. For example, a farmer might use a marketing app to understand the appropriate price at which to sell a crop or use an app to track weather patterns to determine the best time to plant a particular crop. 

Digital Agriculture: the Promise and Barriers in Increasing Food Security  

As farmers increasingly use digital agriculture, the agriculture sector has more data on agricultural systems, needs, and outcomes than ever before. Food security throughout the world can be advanced when agriculture stakeholders use this data to create informative systems such as early warning systems that flag crop shortages before they happen and traceability systems that monitor the health and productivity of livestock.  

Currently, here in Kenya we have about eight farmer registration activities going on, and each of the people doing these activities are storing the data in their own servers. A file can have multiple programs and not know that they’ve interviewed the same people. There’s no data reusability.

Stuart Tippins, FAO

While digital agriculture holds great promise for decreasing food insecurity, the burgeoning landscape of digital agriculture tools is siloed, with a variety of actors who often work in isolation. This siloing results in inefficiency. For example, a plethora of digital agriculture tools that address the same need exists while some needs are going unaddressed. In other cases, the data collected with digital agriculture tools isn’t shared with stakeholders in a timely, usable, or optimal manner, if at all. This inefficiency has prevented the full potential of agriculture data use.

Additionally, there are infrastructural barriers. A common hurdle that was highlighted by different country representatives was poor network and connectivity issues, especially in rural areas. Referring to an assessment conducted on Digital Information Systems in Sudan, Atika Marouf from IFAD Sudan pointed that, “The feedback we got from farmers is that the network is very weak in remote areas, some of them do not have electricity, and others are illiterate.”

In order to help address these barriers and other issues, participants at the “Digital Agriculture: Building the Agricultural Systems of Tomorrow” event identified two recommendations on how to advance digital agriculture.         

Recommendations

  1. Create a holistic approach to digital agriculture at the country-level in order to build an impactful strategy for agriculture data, which can promote food security. The basis of this discussion centered on the Digital Agriculture Framework, a strategic guide for digital agriculture which was developed by The Commonwealth Secretariat. The Digital Agriculture Framework outlines how, with the appropriate environments and initiatives, digital agriculture can go from improving local agricultural work to having macro-level impact—such as advancing food security and creating a more inclusive and sustainable agriculture sector in a given country.

    In discussing the Digital Agriculture Framework, participants identified the need for a given country to be consistent and unified in the implementation of digitalization across agricultural sectors within the country. Having a consistent and unified approach in digitalization—which is the process of leveraging digital technologies to advance business practices, improve efficiency, and increase revenue—will allow national governments to identify and implement strategies and policies for advancing digital agriculture at the country level. This approach will also provide data that can be used for the creation of an index for monitoring, assessing, and comparing how countries are leveraging digitalization at the international level.

Government should take a lead on this but shouldn’t own it. It should be a public infrastructure owned by owners of the data who are contributing to the port, but managed by a trustee in a neutral, multi-stakeholder entity.

Ben Addom, Commonwealth Secretariat
Panelist Sieka Gatabaki, Program Director for Mercy Corps AgriFin, speaking on doing landscape assessment to ensure that the right digital tools and technologies are being used.

The Importance of Interoperability

As governments move to invest in and deploy digital infrastructure for agriculture, understanding how digital systems can exchange data, share it, and ensure it is protected and managed safely (or interoperability) is essential. Event participants discussed different models of data infrastructure and sharing with examples that draw from different sources. These included global examples (CGIAR’s Big Data for Agriculture) and continental examples in Africa, Kenya’s KUADP.

Leroy Mwanzia from the The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) noted that the cultural aspect needs to be considered when building digital agricultural systems, not just the technical bit.
  1. Invest in country-level data and digital infrastructure in order to ensure AgTech and agriculture data are used effectively and appropriately. Participants discussed the importance of creating and maintaining country-level infrastructure that responds to people’s needs and safeguards their rights while also enabling agriculture stakeholders to effectively use AgTech. Key components to building infrastructure for digital agriculture include:
  • Identifying the best infrastructure for extension services in local, underserved areas in order to advance the use of AgTech in those areas; 
  • Collaborating with institutions who have already established sustainable business models for extension services, instead of duplicating efforts to address the extension needs of farmers; 
  • Ensuring data infrastructure is prioritized in government budgeting (government speakers emphasized the importance of this priority);
  • Providing capacity-building training for farmers on the AgTech that’s adopted and  used;
  • Identifying solutions and standards to allow for  better manage of data and support governments in collecting and using farmer data to improve policy work and extension support to farmers; and
  • Creating a data governance structure that outlines how agriculture data and findings are shared and ensures data privacy and security laws and best practices are followed.

Next Steps: Making Space

Going forward in DG’s work on digital agriculture, we plan to:

  • Host several events in order to continue to create space for learning exchange across IFAD and with critical external partners; 
  • Publish communications around what doesn’t work well and to share where digital agriculture initiatives can take a different direction; and 
  • Continue to create space for collaboration. Partnerships between private and public, big and small development partners, development partners and the private sector, are critical to sustainable uptake and use of digital agriculture tools, systems, and data. 

Stay tuned for more as we discover what does and doesn’t work well in digital agriculture initiatives! 

Share

Recent Posts

Episode 1, Season 3 | Why We Need Good Data & Digital Infrastructure for Climate Adaptation

In episode 1, Season 3 of “Data…for What?!,” Vanessa Goas and special guest Sebastian Öhmann, Advisor of the Data Economy Initiative inside the Global Project of Digital Transformation from GIZ, discuss data and digital transformation in relation to climate change adaptation and specifically focusing on climate finance.

November 21, 2023  
Three Key Takeaways From Discussions on Digital Transformation in Agriculture

Development Gateway: An IREX Venture (DG) hosted a discussion titled "Transforming Food Systems: The Power of Interoperability and Partnerships" at both Africa Food Systems Forum (AGRF) 2023 and the recently concluded ICT4Ag conference. Discussions from these critical events revolved around key themes crucial to DG’s ongoing work, including connecting people, institutions, partners, and systems when we think about technology working at scale to transform agriculture. In this blog, we explore three key takeaways from these conversations.

November 16, 2023 Agriculture
How Increasing Trust Can Help to Deliver the 2030 Agenda

The Festival De Datos is here, marking a pivotal moment to assess our journey with data for development. At DG, we've championed leveraging data and tech for a more equitable, sustainable world. But to fulfill this vision, we need to push for a fair data future and establish a culture of trust and cooperation in data use.

November 7, 2023 Global Data Policy

HackCorruption: Leveraging Technology & Building Community to Fight Corruption

August 22, 2023 Strategic Advisory Services Kelley Sams, Rebecca Warner
Thought Leadership

Corruption is an endemic problem when individuals in positions of power prioritize personal gain over the welfare of the general public. Whether it’s government officials awarding contracts for personal benefit or private sector manipulation through bribery, extortion, and opacity, corruption undermines the very foundations of a just and equitable society.

The impact of corruption extends far beyond individual cases, disproportionately affecting vulnerable populations and worsening existing inequalities. Corruption also hampers development, undermines fair competition, and erodes social trust crucial for sustaining democratic systems. Addressing this issue requires innovative solutions that disrupt opaque and exploitative power dynamics; it’s under this idea that HackCorruption was formed.

Developing digital tools in a community of anti-corruption innovators

HackCorruption—a groundbreaking project led by Accountability Lab and implemented in partnership with the Center for International Private Enterprise and DG—is a series of hackathons bringing people together to leverage emerging technology to co-create anti-corruption solutions. Unlike traditional hackathons, participants don’t need to be experts in digital technology in order to participate. DG provides technical assistance and mentorship to participants from a variety of social and professional backgrounds with a vested interest in fighting for better governance.  

But the project’s focus on developing innovative digital tools to fight corruption is just the tip of the iceberg. HackCorruption is unique in that its true essence lies in the relationships forged and the new ideas that emerge, transcending borders and boundaries. At its core, HackCorruption is a community of anti-corruption activists working together to effect positive change in their respective countries and find solutions to transnational corruption.

DG’s involvement in combating corruption has long centered on leveraging data and tech for the public good. Our expertise in using data as a tool for positive change helps uncover corruption’s hidden patterns and consequences, and by creating digital tools that prioritize user experience and engagement, we ensure that technology is accessible and impactful to those who need it the most. Working as technical advisors in HackCorruption is a great fit with DG’s mission to drive the ethical, sustainable, and impactful use of technology.

However, over 20 years of experience has shown us that technology alone cannot solve the world’s trickiest problems. We take a collaboration, learning, and adaptation lens in all of our work, and value sharing back what we have learned in overcoming barriers and challenges to implementing sustainable, well-governed digital and data ecosystems. Working in collaboration with our partners and HackCorruption’s talented cohort of participants from the civic tech, civil society, and activist arenas has demonstrated the power of partnership from diverse groups to maximize impact. This collaborative effort exemplifies the best of technology, knowledge sharing, and community building to tackle one of society’s most entrenched issues.

Photo by: Accountability Lab

HackCorruption has a unique approach to building an inclusive community of digitally savvy anti-corruption innovators, working together to bring new ideas that have the potential to change patterns of governance in regions across the globe. I’m proud of DG’s role supporting these social entrepreneurs with mentorship and advice on the data and digital approaches that can help them succeed.

Josh Powell CEO

The impacts of HackCorruption have been significant:

  • Innovative digital tools: Participants work together to design and build unique digital tools that may be scaled up and used by international non-governmental organizations (INGOs), governments, and in the private sector to increase transparency and accountability.
  • Catalyzing a movement: HackCorruption is catalyzing a movement that uses technology and civic engagement to counteract corruption and shift power toward civil society. 
  • Community building: Participants in HackCorruption are committed to making a difference and working in a space that transcends institutions, borders, and boundaries. They realize their potential to challenge corruption and shape a better world together.

The fight against corruption is not an isolated battle; it’s a global movement driven by individuals and collaborative efforts. With DG’s technical expertise and commitment to leveraging data for good, this project exemplifies the potential to transform societies and create a world where accountability, justice, and equality prevail. As the next round of HackCorruption kicks off in Colombia for a cohort that includes participants from six Latin American countries, we can anticipate a new class of changemakers working for a brighter, fairer future for all. 

Share

Recent Posts

Episode 1, Season 3 | Why We Need Good Data & Digital Infrastructure for Climate Adaptation

In episode 1, Season 3 of “Data…for What?!,” Vanessa Goas and special guest Sebastian Öhmann, Advisor of the Data Economy Initiative inside the Global Project of Digital Transformation from GIZ, discuss data and digital transformation in relation to climate change adaptation and specifically focusing on climate finance.

November 21, 2023  
Three Key Takeaways From Discussions on Digital Transformation in Agriculture

Development Gateway: An IREX Venture (DG) hosted a discussion titled "Transforming Food Systems: The Power of Interoperability and Partnerships" at both Africa Food Systems Forum (AGRF) 2023 and the recently concluded ICT4Ag conference. Discussions from these critical events revolved around key themes crucial to DG’s ongoing work, including connecting people, institutions, partners, and systems when we think about technology working at scale to transform agriculture. In this blog, we explore three key takeaways from these conversations.

November 16, 2023 Agriculture
How Increasing Trust Can Help to Deliver the 2030 Agenda

The Festival De Datos is here, marking a pivotal moment to assess our journey with data for development. At DG, we've championed leveraging data and tech for a more equitable, sustainable world. But to fulfill this vision, we need to push for a fair data future and establish a culture of trust and cooperation in data use.

November 7, 2023 Global Data Policy