Digital and Technology
Advancing knowledge, shaping policy and inspiring practice on digital development is critical to achieving the Institute of Development Studies’ vision of reducing inequalities, accelerating sustainability, and building secure and inclusive societies.
Over the past two decades the digital revolution has ushered in transformative changes to the ways we communicate and organise, with many cascading effects across social, economic and political spheres. With the advent of newer developments, including artificial intelligence, 3D printing and robotics, yet more profound changes are anticipated in the years and decades to come.
Our cutting-edge research and analysis on the reality of digital development provides insights and ideas for policymakers and practitioners within development and humanitarian organisations seeking to better understand and realise the promise of the digital revolution for poor and marginalised communities.
Recent highlights from the Digital and Technology Cluster
- Landmark report on frontier technologies for international development
- Policy briefing on blockchain technology for development
- New insights on job automation and the future of work
- Research on the role of social media and digital technology in violence reporting
- Production of four major evidence reviews on the impact of digital techology on: economic growth and productivity, citizenship, accountability and rights, environmental sustainability and resilience, and service delivery in health and education
Collaboration for impact
The quality and impact of our work depends upon us collaborating with governments, international NGOs, local civil society, citizens, donors, businesses and many others to achieve positive change, strategically informed by research and knowledge.
Our consulting services focus on our clients’ most critical issues and opportunities surrounding digital strategies for human development. We bring strong technical, cross-disciplinary expertise grounded in real-world experience and are known for bringing a holistic lens that acknowledges the economic, political and social contexts of digital development. We work with a wide range of clients on both short and long-term projects. Recent clients include the UK Department for International Development, USAID, German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) and Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Image: GMB Akash / Panos
Human Development Innovation Fund
The Human Development Innovation Fund (HDIF) identifies and supports innovations that have the potential to create social impact in education, health and WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) across Tanzania. More details
Making All Voices Count
Making All Voices Count: A Grand Challenge for Development (MAVC) is a four-year $45 million fund to support innovation, scaling-up, and research that will deepen existing innovations and help harness new technologies to enable citizen engagement and government responsiveness. More details
Digital Development: IDS and DFAT InnovationXchange collaboration
This six month collaboration between the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's InnovationXchange (iXc) and the Digital and Technology cluster will strengthen DFAT’s capability to appropriately use technology to more effectively deliver aid outcomes, building on its existing expertise and experience. More details
mSTAR Real Time Data for Adaptive Programming Conceptual Framework
The project will focus on the growing importance of real-time data and in particular how digital tools can be used to generate information in support of more adaptive, contextually relevant, decision-making and programme management and implementation More details
Is tech-enabled citizen-engagement a game changer for development?20 Mar 2015
By Duncan Edwards
Social Enterprises and why we must stop romanticising them01 Aug 2014
By Maria del Mar Maestre Morales
The revolution will not be in open data30 Oct 2013
By Duncan Edwards
Open data and increasing the impact of research? A piece of cake!07 Aug 2013
By Duncan Edwards
Failed ICT development projects10 Dec 2012
By Inka Barnett