What support do innovators of Digital Public Goods need?

Abstract

Digital Public Goods (DPGs) are a fundamental pillar in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and driving the UN’s Roadmap for Digital Co-operation. UN Global Pulse has been working to identify the bottlenecks and catalytic support required to make products scale ready or well positioned on the road to scale.

The project initially focused on innovations in maternal, newborn and child health, a focal area of the Sustainable Development Goals. However it soon emerged that many of the findings were not only applicable across health, but beyond into other sectors.

Interviews with innovators and other stakeholders identified a number of challenges faced throughout the innovation process, but particularly when moving from the pilot to scale stage. Further research revealed a need for tailored mentoring support to develop a sustainable business model and access to sources of funding. Knowledge sharing among innovators is limited with potential benefits arising from collaboration through communities of practice and easy access to resources such as guidelines or case studies.

This report provides an overview of the research findings, highlights the important role of DPGs in accelerating progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and Our Common Agenda. It also outlines UN Global Pulse’s plans to work with innovators and provides some calls to action for those interested in supporting this vital work.

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