23.02.2018

Digital principles for sustainable development signed

GIZ has signed the Principles for Digital Development. The objective: using digital technology effectively in development work, for example, to support farmers in India.

Around 25,000 farmers in three Indian states use digital communication tools, such as the app Telegram, to quickly obtain specific local information on farming methods so they can adapt their agricultural practices to meet the demands of climate change. It is an example of how digital transformation and new technology are shaping development cooperation. On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), GIZ joined forces with the Indian Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare to implement the Climate Change Knowledge Network in Indian Agriculture project.

GIZ aims to make digital development cooperation successful, efficient and effective. On 23 February 2018, Dr Christoph Beier, Vice-Chair of the GIZ Management Board, and Dr Dirk Aßmann, Director General of GIZ’s Sectoral Department, signed a letter endorsing the Principles for Digital Development of the Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) at the United Nations Foundation. ‘On one hand, it means we have guidelines for planning and implementing effective digital approaches, and on the other, we benefit from international exchange and good practices for use in digital projects in international cooperation,’ says Aßmann. Endorsing the Principles for Digital Development is another step in establishing GIZ as an innovative partner for digital solutions in development cooperation. GIZ uses digital solutions in over 200 of its projects. The goal is always to apply new technologies in areas where they can generate added value.

There are already some success stories, as the Indian farming project shows. The impacts of climate change mean that there are more droughts in India, while rain has become less frequent, but more severe. In order to adapt agricultural practices to meet the challenges of climate change more effectively, Indian farmers and smallholders need quick, specific local information and services. The digital knowledge network is an innovative tool to meet the farmers’ needs in real time and provides a platform for exchanging expertise.