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UNDP launching inclusive digital public infrastructure development initiative

UNDP launching inclusive digital public infrastructure development initiative

The United National Development Program will on November 8 roll out a program tagged 50in5 meant to advance the conversation around the development of safe, inclusive and interoperable digital public infrastructure (DPI).

In a tweet, UNDP Digital, the section of the UN agency working to promote inclusive digital development around the world, said the program will serve as a platform for different stakeholders to share thoughts on how building inclusive digital ID and other tools can contribute to strong and equitable societies.

The launch will take place via a virtual event (registration is ongoing), and is supported by partners including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has been leading a fund-raising campaign for DPI development, the Digital Public Goods Alliance and Co-Develop.

Per the 50in5 website, the initiative is an advocacy campaign fronted by the UNDP with the aim of having at least 50 countries successfully “design, launch and scale components of their digital public infrastructure” by 2028.

During the launch event, participants will “share learnings, best practices, and technologies” through which countries can build less costly, efficient and impactful DPI within a short period of time.

DPI is a combination of digital tools such as a digital identity ecosystem, digital payments platforms and data exchange facilities which make it possible for countries to deliver secure and seamless services to users.

In the last couple of years, there’s been some global consensus building around the need for countries to put in place DPI systems as a way of accelerating their march towards achieving the UN sustainable development goals.

India, which successfully built its DPI ecosystem labelled as “India Stack” has also been fronting the campaign for greater development of DPI especially in sub–Saharan Africa where the struggle to deliver public services and the race to meet the SDGs by 2030 is real. The country has also proposed consideration for a global legal and governance framework to guide the process.

At a digital event on the sideline of the 78th UN General Assembly in September, stakeholders pledged to raise $400 million to support DPI development efforts in over 100 countries before 2030.

Some stakeholders have also made the case for an interoperable DPI system as a way of driving business integration in the world, particularly in Africa.

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