Digital Transformation for Development (DX4D)

“Digital transformation” has become something of a buzz term within international development, with recent release of DX4D policies, strategies, reports, briefings, programmes and projects. But what does it mean, and how should it best be implemented?

A Centre for Digital Development research project is currently underway to answer these questions by reviewing literature, policies and strategies, and through engagement with development practitioners.  Emergent guidelines can be related to each component of DX4D:

  • Digital (D): although it will involve changes in digital data and technology, digital transformation involves and requires broader, parallel change in structural relations, development processes, formal/informal institutions, and resource distributions.
  • Transformation (X): change must be transformative.  This is not about incremental alterations to existing systems but significant disruption to development structures and processes, involving new digitally-enabled development models.
  • Development (4D): digital transformation is the means not the goal.  Development – understood as the transformation of societies – is the goal.  Digital-transformation-for-development should thus be explicit about the developmental transformation that it is seeking to bring about, or wishes to emerge.

These guidelines are part of a broader set of principles for DX4D research and consulting that have been proposed from our review:

Read the blog exploring the review

Further information :