Benefits of the SDG Digital Investment Framework
A whole-of-government approach to digital investment to help achieve the SDGs stands to benefit the entire value chain: citizens, businesses, governments and their partners, and the supporting ecosystem of ICT developers and implementers.
Investing in reusable ICT Building Blocks increases efficiency and delivers better ROI for governments.
It also creates a platform ecosystem providing incentives for a higher volume of application developers.
Combining functionality in this way can also attract increased investment. This investment will in turn provide incentives for the private sector to fill the emerging cross-sector market demand and, critically, to extend services to populations that would not otherwise be able to afford them. Citizens, who are the direct beneficiaries of ICT-supported programmes, will enjoy more integrated, comprehensive and higher quality services from their government, ultimately leading to improved livelihoods.
What is the SDG Digital Investment Framework?
The Digital Impact Alliance (DIA) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) conducted new research to help countries make smarter and more strategic decisions in their ICT investments. Through in-depth study of the agriculture, education, and health sectors, the DIAL/ITU team identified critical technology needs that can be served by the same, generic ICT applications and established a framework for using them.
We invite countries to take a whole of-government approach to investing in digital technology. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) commitments made by 193 countries were set to “transform our world” by 2030. Countries’ ability to achieve this goal is dependent on innovative uses of ICT services that can make existing programs more effective and scalable to better serve their population.
The SDG Digital Investment Framework helps governments and their partners to take a whole-of-government approach to invest in shared digital infrastructure to strengthen SDG programming across sectors.
The framework accomplishes this by defining four interrelated layers:
SDG Targets define high-level objectives to which governments systematically align their development goals.
Use Cases define the steps necessary to achieve a business objective contributing to one or more SDG Targets.
WorkFlows are generic business processes, such as ‘client communication’ or ‘procurement’, that support the delivery of a Use Case.
ICT Building Blocks are reusable software components that enable WorkFlows and Use Cases across multiple sectors.
The framework makes the connection between SDG Targets and ICT Building Blocks by borrowing from enterprise architecture planning (EAP), which is a process to align an organization’s ICT investments to its business strategy.
As governments set long-term national development goals, administrators may want to use an EAP model to understand the business processes, organizational capabilities and ICT infrastructure to support those goals while driving digital transformation and modernization. EAP is an invaluable skill to build capacity in for governments and their partners; indeed, it is standard practice in many large organizations. It is a complex and resource-intensive practice, however, that may be out of reach for individual governments and projects. This framework is therefore meant to be used both as a quick start guide and a useful reference.
ITU and DIAL developed this framework to complete an important part of the EAP process in advance by designating the SDG Targets as the strategic business objectives, and then mapping priority Use Cases, WorkFlows, and ICT Building Blocks to those targets. Governments and their partners can use this framework to jump start their own whole-of-government approach digital investment and architecture planning processes.
To learn more about the call to action and the framework that informs it, check out these resources:
Example of architectural map using the SDG Digital Investment Framework