The Intersection of Technology, Data, and Development
Grounded in over 20 years of experience at the nexus of technology and development, we focus on using data to improve lives. Our team offers a blend of expertise, made up of software developers, technical experts, and international development professionals. DG works side-by-side with institutions, governments, and communities to deliver solutions.
DG's Core Values
• We work to place data-informed decision-making at the core of every activity, and work to increase available evidence on the value of data for decisions.
• We believe in openness and transparency, not only in what we do, but how we do it. We prioritize honesty and integrity in our work.
• We work to build local and partner capacity for our tools whenever possible, and we prioritize solutions that are the right fit for partners in the long-term.
• We combine expertise in both digital technology and development, bringing a balance of these perspectives to the work we do.
• We prioritize and promote open source tools, open data, and open government.
• We contribute to the global policy community through active participation in multi-stakeholder partnerships; collaboration with like-minded partners; and active dissemination of policy-relevant lessons.
• We believe that lasting change can best be achieved by understanding and improving institutional incentives for data use; addressing power dynamics and political barriers to collaboration and evidence use; and increasing trust among and between institutions and their constituents.
• We believe that all voices have value, and we seek input from diverse and often new sources and perspectives in program and technology design.
• We partner with institutions to drive change from the inside.
• We build solutions with, not for, our partners.
• We seek out feedback and use it to learn, communicate, and adapt our approaches for each environment. We aim to share what we’ve learned with the broader community, to amplify the impact of our work.
• We are a global organization and partner locally whenever possible through teams in the regions and communities where our work takes place.
20 Years of DG
Nearly 20 years ago, Development Gateway began as an idea within the World Bank: How can we leverage the power of the internet to understand who is doing what, where, and to what effect?
After a period of incubation within the World Bank, DG was spun off and began creating global public goods: AiDA, dgMarket, dg Communities, and Country Gateways.
These resources aimed to make development information publicly available, where before it was held privately or costly to access. To address the problem of inaccessible and siloed information on international aid during this period, DG developed and piloted the Aid Management Program (AMP) in Ethiopia. AMP then expanded to 13 additional countries over the next several years.
To focus on achieving targeted impact, DG shifted focus toward country systems and data visualization.
AMP scaled from a few countries to nearly 25 and transitioned from an IT platform to a comprehensive, sustainable flagship program. In addition, DG co-founded AidData by merging AiDA with PLAID – a project of the College of William & Mary and Brigham Young University This partnership focused on gathering project-level aid information and created a core competency of partnering with researchers to bridge academic-policy and global-local divides. Through these projects, we learned how to effectively engage with and provide support to governments.
DG was one of the first technology-for-development organizations to think deeply about and challenge the level of data and technology uptake needed to create context-appropriate solutions, we began to focus on understanding data use.
Embedded in existing technology programming, and in stand-alone research initiatives, we began leveraging learnings to explore how and why data was – or was not – being used. We built on research methods from academic partners; combined them with practical experience implementing technical tools; and leveraged the deep trust gained by working with countries. Each project and partnership was an opportunity to further the global body of research and thinking on barriers to data uptake. This iterative approach – continually incorporating new techniques to drive actual data use in each project – has set us apart from purely technical providers. It has allowed us to develop an applied research portfolio and prioritize bigger picture thinking with the goal of translating on-the-ground learnings into policy-relevant messages on data use and strategies.
Our strategic direction builds on what we have learned from each successive wave of our evolution.
This vision is responsive to the shifting needs of the SDG agenda, positioning DG to support key global, national, and local actors. Additionally, we are increasingly incorporating a gender lens into program design and implementation.
Our lasting impact is driven by partnerships with governments, organizations, and institutions
Learn more about our approach to collaboration.