The Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) has just launched Beyond Scale: How to make your digital development program sustainable, a free online guide for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that details key challenges and potential solutions when scaling and sustaining digital development programs beyond the ‘valley of death’ – the problematic phase many digital development implementers face when the pilot is over and funding may be running out.
The Digital Impact Alliance partnered with BBC Media Action and Esoko, both implementers of long-term, large-scale digital development programs, to share their learning and experiences on what works – and just as importantly – what does not. DIAL also partnered with Vital Wave and Johns Hopkins University Global mHealth Initiative to source digital development emerging best practices from around the world.
Between 2009 and 2015, the number of public and private sector programs testing digital technology solutions for systemic development challenges in agriculture, education, financial services and health more than tripled. As investment in digital development has grown, so has the need to ensure cost effectiveness, scale and financial sustainability.
However, few digital solutions in global development have successfully sustained beyond the pilot stage to institutionalize impactful change. Many continue to face key barriers that impede growth in areas outside of digital technology expertise, such as sustainable business models and private or public-sector partnerships, regulatory and policy compliance, and the challenges of large-scale marketing, distribution and sales operations.
“As organizations around the globe work to take digital development programs beyond the pilot phase, a unique opportunity exists to draw on their experience, knowledge and key insights to provide pragmatic how-to guidance for maturing digital solutions and programs,” said Kate Wilson, CEO of the Digital Impact Alliance. “Through the extensive research and production process, we were able to source helpful best practices and guidance. We are excited to unveil a product that directly helps on-the-ground implementers in digital development organizations.”
To learn more about Beyond Scale, click here.