Digital Public Goods

Graphics: row of padlocks in red and blue in the background of computer screen with programming code

Digital public goods (DPGs) combine three fundamental characteristics: they are non-rivalrous, non-excludable and globally available. These properties give DPGs the opportunity to counteract limited access to information and technologies and thus the deepening global digital divide.

 

This definition makes it clear why digital public goods are an essential factor for social and developmental change processes in international cooperation.

Knowledge, data and digital solutions are the relevant elements of an information society. Due to limited access to digital resources, ever-widening digital divides are forming globally, reinforcing existing inequalities. Through their open access to information and technologies, DPGs offer the opportunity to counteract these developments.  Innovations can be distributed more evenly and competitive conditions can be leveled. At the same time, DPGs can limit economic monopolies over digital solutions and knowledge. For both economic and social reasons, public digital goods thus offer decisive advantages.

Through their participatory nature, DPGs have the potential to foster equitable global partnerships of international cooperation. GIZ works with governments, local ecosystems, and global companies to initiate the necessary knowledge exchange and shared learning processes. The goals are to drive the economic, flexible, and sustainable development of digital solutions while ensuring equal opportunities for all stakeholders.

By advising governments, organizations, and communities, GIZ can promote the use of DPG at various points. In addition to suitable investment opportunities, it is important to devise policy strategies, governance models, and skills development measures for successful deployment.