Principles of Innovation
1. Design with the User
- Develop context appropriate solutions informed by user needs.
- Include all user groups in planning, development, implementation and assessment.
- Develop projects in an incremental and iterative manner.
- Design solutions that learn from and enhance existing workflows and plan for organizational adaptation.
- Ensure solutions are sensitive to, and useful for, the most marginalized populations: women, children, those with disabilities, and those affected by conflict and disaster.
2. Understand the Existing Ecosystem
- Participate in networks and communities of like-minded practitioners.
- Align to existing technological, legal, and regulatory policies.
3. Design for Scale
- Design for scale from the start, and assess and mitigate dependencies that might limit ability to scale.
- Employ a “systems” approach to design, considering implications of design beyond an immediate project.
- Be replicable and customizable in other countries and contexts.
- Demonstrate impact before scaling a solution.
- Analyze all technology choices through the lens of national and regional scale.
- Factor in partnerships from the beginning and start early negotiations.
4. Build for Sustainability
- Plan for sustainability from the start, including planning for long-term financial health i.e., assessing total cost of ownership.
- Utilize and invest in local communities and developers by default and help catalyze their growth.
- Engage with local governments to ensure integration into national strategy and identify high-level government advocates.
5. Be Data Driven
- Design projects so that impact can be measured at discrete milestones with a focus on outcomes rather than outputs.
- Evaluate innovative solutions and areas where there are gaps in data and evidence.
- Use real-time information to monitor and inform management decisions at all levels.
- When possible, leverage data as a by-product of user actions and transactions for assessments.
6. Use Open Standards, Open Data, Open Source, and Open Innovation
- Adopt and expand existing open standards.
- Open data and functionalities and expose them in documented APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) where use by a larger community is possible.
- Invest in software as a public good.
- Develop software to be open source by default with the code made available in public repositories and supported through developer communities.
7. Reuse and Improve
- Use, modify and extend existing tools, platforms, and frameworks when possible.
- Develop in modular ways favoring approaches that are interoperable over those that are monolithic by design.
8. Do no harm
- Assess and mitigate risks to the security of users and their data.
- Consider the context and needs for privacy of personally identifiable information when designing solutions and mitigate accordingly.
- Ensure equity and fairness in co-creation, and protect the best interests of the end end-users.
9. Be Collaborative
- Engage diverse expertise across disciplines and industries at all stages.
- Work across sector silos to create coordinated and more holistic approaches.
- Document work, results, processes and best practices and share them widely.
- Publish materials under a Creative Commons license by default, with strong rationale if another licensing approach is taken.