Digital Public Goods for Development: A Conspectus and Research Agenda

Brian Nicholson, Petter Nielsen, Johan Ivar Sæbø, Ana Paula Tavares

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Digital public goods (DPGs) for development is a relatively new discourse in the field of information technology for development (ICT4D). DPGs are currently portrayed by international organisations and donors as key enablers towards the accomplishment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, there is a paucity of research that establishes the link between the DPGs and the SDG and examines the contribution of DPGs to development. This paper introduces the DPG discourse and relevant theoretical concepts. We then present a case illustration of the UN-centred discourse on DPGs, showing a technology orientation in the goals and mission statements. Drawing on research on DHIS2, commonly used in the discourse as a prominent example of DPGs, we develop a research agenda related to the methods, theory and philosophy we find appropriate for advancing our understanding of DPGs, the link between DPGs and the SDGs and for development in general.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFreedom and Social Inclusion in a Connected World
Subtitle of host publication17th IFIP WG 9.4 International Conference on Implications of Information and Digital Technologies for Development, ICT4D 2022 Lima, Peru, May 25–27, 2022 Proceedings
EditorsYingqin Zheng, Pamela Abbott, Jose Antonio Robles-Flores
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783031194290
ISBN (Print)9783031194283
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2022


  • Digital public goods
  • Sustainable development goals
  • DPG
  • Research agenda

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global inequalities


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