Digital Public Infrastructure for Digital Service Design
As the world gets closer to the 2030 Development Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Global Goals, many of these goals rely on governments’ ability to deliver services to people. Digital public infrastructure (DPI) systems, like ID, payments, and data exchange, have become essential for enabling the meaningful delivery of public and private services and for increasing resilience to present and future crises. COVID – 19 pandemic showed us how digital government services could foster economic growth, facilitate broader access to health and education services, building more inclusive and resilient societies.
However, when governments digitalize, they often reinvent the wheel when developing digital services. Instead of reusing existing tools and international best practices, they develop new products or rely on third parties to build a one-time solution. GovStack breaks this cycle by promoting the use of interoperable, generic, and reusable building blocks to digitalize any service. This approach is based on global best practices and enables governments to create human-centered digital services that empower individuals and improve well-being.
A whole-of-government approach refers to cross-department coordination and consideration of people needs to deliver services in a more integrated, user-centric manner. Being resourceful requires a holistic approach, taking advantage of economies of scale that are not available when delivering digital services in a piecemeal fashion. Evidence from countries illustrates how a government-wide approach to investing in digital infrastructure can lead to a more rapid scaling-up of development services, with strong protection for citizens’ rights at a fraction of the cost.
The WSIS Digital Service Design Special Prize was developed to recognize governments around the world using DPIs and a whole-of-government approach to Citizen-Centric Digital Service Design to achieve the SDGs.
With 50 submissions, the WSIS Special Prize on Digital Service Design gathered best practices from every continent. Projects ranged from local, regional, to national level services, and tackled topics from facilitating digital and physical trade, more effective government meetings, supporting new mothers, digital identity, online payments, and more. The diversity
of applications reflected the diversity of needs and innovations to enable digital government services.