Deadline: June 3 2022
USAID is working toward a future where digital technology promotes inclusive growth, fosters resilient and democratic societies, and empowers everyone, including the most vulnerable and marginalized. In an effort to recognize USAID Missions, Bureaus, and implementing partners that are helping countries and communities work toward sustainable growth and resilience, USAID is pleased to announce the 2022 Digital Development Awards (the Digis).
The Digis recognize and celebrate USAID projects and activities that embrace the Agency’s strategic goals of improving development and humanitarian assistance outcomes through the use of digital technology and strengthening open, secure, and inclusive digital ecosystems.
Digital ecosystems—the stakeholders, systems, and enabling environment that together empower people and communities to use digital technology to access services, engage with each other, or pursue economic opportunities—hold immense potential to help people live more free and prosperous lives. These ecosystems can help drive economic empowerment and financial inclusion, advance national security, support accountability and transparency in governance, and make development and humanitarian assistance more efficient and effective.
Who is eligible to enter?
The Digis will be awarded to USAID-funded projects and activities that have (1) directly deployed a digital technology or suite of technologies or (2) provided support to digital ecosystem actors to extend digital technology access and/or uptake. Digital ecosystem actors include technology providers, financial service providers, government agencies, civil society organizations, or other entities that are either deploying digital technology solutions or developing policies/regulations that enable increased access and uptake.
All USAID staff and implementing partners working on a USAID-funded project are encouraged to apply, regardless of the size, region, or portfolio of the activity. Implementing partners should consult with the appropriate USAID point of contact before submitting an application.
USAID-funded partners from the private sector, as well as those who are considered to be “new partners,” “non-traditional partners,” or “local partners” (see definitions for these partners here) are strongly encouraged to submit applications.
How do the Digi Awards relate to the Digital Strategy?
The 2022 Digi Awards recognize USAID-funded projects and activities that support the achievement of the two strategic objectives from the Digital Strategy:
- Digital technology deployment: The term “digital technology” not only describes a type of technology, but also refers to the platforms, processes, and range of technologies that underpin modern information and communications technologies (ICT), including the internet and mobile phone platforms, as well as advanced data infrastructure and analytical approaches.
- Digital ecosystem support: A digital ecosystem comprises the stakeholders, systems, and enabling environment that together empower people and communities to use digital technology to access services, engage with each other, or pursue economic opportunities.
How will the applications be judged?
Applications will be judged based on four criterion:
Criteria 1 – Integration: The digital technology or digital ecosystem deployment was integrated into the strategy, design, and implementation of a USAID project or activity that contributes in a measurable way toward achieving the development objective(s).
Criteria 2 – Principles for Digital Development: The project or activity aligns with the Principles for Digital Development (link is external) in strategy, design, and implementation.
Criteria 3 – Impact & Sustainability: The project or activity has demonstrated significant impact thus far over the project’s life or demonstrated sustainability since the USAID support ended.
Criteria 4 – Inclusive Development: If the project or activity is entered into the digital ecosystem support category, it should show significant action to increase equitable use of digital technologies and ensure communities and organizations are using the digital technology securely and responsibly. If the project or activity is entered into the digital technology deployment category, it should show significant effort to strengthen and/or support private sector-led engagement in the digital economy and support public institutions’ capacity or efforts to strengthen the digital economy.
What will the winners receive?
Winners will receive Agency-wide recognition and public visibility for their groundbreaking work. This could include the following:
- Time with a local photographer/interviewer who will work with you to capture the story of your project through visual and written communications materials
- A profile in a Digital Development Awards booklet
- A feature story on the USAID Exposure or Medium platform
- Social media coverage
- A physical trophy and Certificate of Appreciation (to be presented at a virtual awards ceremony attended by leaders from the digital development community)