Digital Development Partnership (DDP)

The World Bank's new Digital Development Partnership (DDP) helps operationalize the 2016 World Development Report on Digital Dividends and offers a platform for digital innovation and development financing. The DDP brings public and private sector partners together to catalyze support to developing countries in the articulation and implementation of digital development strategies and plans.


Digital technologies can help in addressing some of the toughest development challenges: providing access to information, overcoming remoteness, exclusion, and disconnects, and offering economic opportunity. World leaders, academics, the private sector, and development specialists agree on the tremendous potential of using digital technologies for development. The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set the target to “significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the internet in least developed countries by 2020” (SDG target 9.c). More generally, the ambition of many SDGs such as target 5.c will require innovative, inclusive, technology-based solutions. Numerous initiatives led by civil society and the private sector call for a better use of digital technologies to achieve a breakthrough on some of the most persistent development challenges.

World Development Report 2016 

The World Bank’s 2016 World Development Report on Digital Dividends (WDR 2016), published in January 2016, presents a balanced and nuanced analysis of the ‘Digital Dividends’ that developing countries can expect to reap. The report reviews the opportunities that digital technologies offer to developing countries, the risks that exist if the benefits of digital innovation accrue to those already better off, and the necessary complements (such as the country’s skills capacity, business environment, and governance) to ensure that digital development can work as a positive force for sustainable, inclusive development. 

Digital Development Partnership

To help implement the SDGs and operationalize the WDR 2016, the World Bank has launched a Digital Development Partnership (DDP). This partnership makes digital solutions available to developing countries with an emphasis on the following areas:

  • Data and indicators
  • Digital economy enabling environment
  • Cybersecurity
  • Internet access for all
  • Digital government
  • Mainstreaming digital services, solutions, and platforms.

DDP has identified six priority work areas:

Data and Indicators

DDP scales up the use of data and indicators – including big data – to benchmark and advance the readiness of client countries to reap digital dividends. Toolkits combine information on the spread of digital technologies with an assessment of the regulatory environment. They inform all DDP reform priorities. 

Digital Economy Enabling Environment

The convergence of ICT, media, and content technologies and platforms requires a regulatory framework in support of the digital economy. DDP funded activities seek to overhaul obsolete regulations, remove bottlenecks to the development of digital ecosystems, and foster competition. Issues of policy and regulation of the digital space to be addressed include: cloud services, local content creation, open data, consumer privacy and data protection, and, more generally, the interface between digital or ICT regulations and other sector regulations.


Cybersecurity concerns grow in parallel with the adoption of digital services and infrastructure. DDP will help advance the capacity of World Bank clients in the development of cybersecurity policies and standards, and support good practices in the use of cybersecurity tools, safeguards, and risk management instruments.

Internet Access for All

WDR 2016 argues that a new digital divide is emerging and constitutes one of the main hurdles to capturing digital dividends. DDP offers technical assistance to support client countries in enhancing their connectivity, covering matters of national policy and strategy, regulation and markets, technological standards, infrastructure sharing and development, spectrum management, taxation, gender aspects of connectivity, and regional ICT markets.

Digital Government

The WDR highlights the tremendous opportunities in using e-Government models to improve service delivery, foster transparency and efficiency in public administration, and empower all citizens and entrepreneurs. DDP supports client governments in the development of digital government infrastructure platforms and shared services. Work areas include digital government leadership, public sector IT architecture and governance, data and analytics platforms, and interoperability.

Mainstreaming Digital Services, Solutions, and Platforms

Digital delivery affects all fields of socio-economic activity. In the area of transport, for example, digital solutions can help increase efficiency, access, and reduce CO2 emissions. DDP fosters digital capabilities in a range of areas where collaboration with other World Bank Units, associations, firms, donors, and other partners can foster growth and inclusion. This implies jointly leveraging digital enablers such as Internet of Things, cloud computing, and mobile platforms and payment systems.

As digital progress is fast and primarily private sector driven, DDP draws on best practices from client countries and the private sector. To this end, DDP is bringing together traditional partners from the development community and leading global IT firms. Much of this digital development agenda is encouraged through loans and grants from the World Bank and other development partners.

Currently, DDP is in a partnership with Denmark, Finland, GSMA, Japan, KoreaMicrosoft, and the United Kingdom. DDP will further expand the partnership to catalyze multidonor funds to accelerate the engagement with country clients, roll out new approaches to ICT, and advance digital development.




"Digital technologies are enablers, drivers and accelerators of sustainable development and growth. The exponential spread of digital technologies is already improving societies and people’s lives and holds the potential for us to accelerate the implementation of the SDGs. Digitalisation is a new cross-cutting tool in Danish development cooperation and together with DDP we seek to contribute to bridging the digital divides and harness the digital dividends in developing countries."





"The ongoing digital revolution is fundamentally changing the world we live in and will provide new opportunities to enhance development and the achievement of the SDGs. DDP strengthens Finland’s long-term commitment to enhance development of information societies and innovation capacities in partner countries."




"Digitalization is revolutionizing the way entire sectors operate and has the power to transform communities and people’s futures. In many markets, mobile networks are the most widespread and reliable infrastructure to deliver digital services, so mobile is a key enabler in connecting populations and driving economic growth. On behalf of the mobile industry, the GSMA is proud to be part of DDP and believes that the framework it provides for public-private sector partnership has the potential to deliver substantial change for good."




"Cyberspace is a place in which intellectual property, such as technological innovations and new business models can be created and will continue to serve as a platform for sustainable development of economic society. The security of cyberspace, which serves as the foundation of economic society, must be ensured, and at the same time, its autonomously sustained evolution and development has to be ensured in order to achieve sustainable progress and wealth to society. Japan will continue to actively contribute to DDP so as to promote cybersecurity capacity building for developing countries."





"Digitalization possesses the potential to benefit people’s way of life with digital technologies. On the other hand, rapid development of technology also has risks of widening the digital divide. The Digital Development Partnership has been helping to bridge such digital divide between countries. Korea, as a partner of DDP, will stand by the World Bank and keep working together to maximize benefits and reduce risks of digitalization."




"The Digital Development Partnership teams Microsoft (and others) with the World Bank to help operationalize the 2016 WDR on Digital Dividends, by bringing public and private sector partners together to catalyze support to developing countries and emerging economies with digital development strategies and plans. Entirely consistent with the mission “To empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more”, Microsoft supports DDP efforts to empower countries by ensuring an Enabling Environment for Digital Development by advancing technology adoption and accelerating digital transformation, enabling them to achieve digital dividends for all their constituents."

United Kingdom



"Digital technologies have the potential to revolutionize the lives of the poor, unlock development and prosperity, and accelerate progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Currently, significant barriers stand in the way of realizing the full potential of digital development, including the lack of access to the internet, exposing the most vulnerable and marginalized to the risk of being left behind. The UK will work to reduce these digital divides by enabling secure and inclusive access to the growth and prosperity promised by digital development. Our partnership with DDP will support the delivery of our digital development and cybersecurity strategies."


Story: Achieving Africa’s Digital Transformation is an Ambition that Requires Game-changing Cooperation (May 6, 2019)

Development partners recently came together to discuss how best to support Africa’s Digital Transformation agenda, which aims to connect every African individual, business and government by 2030.

Publication: Digital Development Partnership Annual Review (2018)

The DDP Annual Review 2018 reports on activities and results achieved during the last fiscal year. It is the second report in the series, after the inaugural report was issued in 2017.

Story: Denmark Joins the World Bank’s Digital Development Partnership (September 24, 2018)

The World Bank’s Digital Development Partnership (DDP) continues to grow, with Denmark recently joining the DDP’s group of donors. Helping developing countries leverage technological improvements to solve their most pressing challenges, most notably within the energy, education and health sectors, is at the core of this new partnership.

Story: Building Connections to Four Billion People (March 29, 2018)

It will require innovative financing and technologies to get broadband to the 4 billion people currently without internet access. A workshop at the World Bank solicited input from country clients and experts as to how best to do that.


Publication: Digital Development Partnership: Annual Review 2017 (February 25, 2018)

DDP is an innovative effort to focus the transformative impact of digital technologies on development. One year after its creation, DDP’s Annual Review looks to future and takes stock of the past.


Story: Using Digital Tools to Transform Transportation (January 31, 2018)

Digital tools are making transportation faster, safer, and greener. Experts discussed new ideas for protecting vulnerable travelers, preventing traffic accidents, improving flow and more at a workshop. Read more


Story: Teaching Digital Dividends (January 02, 2018)

More than 40 percent of the world’s population relies on the internet. But 4 billion others are without internet access and are left out of the digital future. Technology and development experts addressed the impact of digital technology on development in a 6-week Massive Open Online Course called “Digital Dividends.” Read more

Story: Youth Summit Brings New Ideas to Digital Development (December 18, 2017)

The World Bank’s Youth Summit brought innovative thinkers between the ages of 18 and 35 to meet with World Bank experts to discuss the impact of technology on development. This year’s topic, “Technology and Innovation for Impact,” sponsored in part by DDP, brought a lively crowd to the first floor of the World Bank’s headquarters. Read more

Publication: Connecting One and All to the Digital Revolution (December 14, 2017)

‘Leapfrogging’ into the digital economy holds huge promise for Africa. Digital development is a priority for many countries; in Africa, the challenge is that some countries must build a 21st century digital economy without the benefit of 20th century infrastructure. Read more

Speech: Remarks by World Bank Group President  Jim Yong Kim at the Global Connect Initiative (April 14, 2016)

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim stressed the importance of digital development in his speech at the Global Connect Initiative. The Initiative aims to bring 1.5 billion additional people online by 2020, and is based on the idea that internet connectivity is a key to economic growth. Read more

Story: Digital Revolution Needs Offline Help to Realize Its Potential (January 13, 2016)

Though billions of people around the globe rely on mobile phones, the digital revolution hasn’t reached everyone, according the World Bank’s 2016 World Development Report, “Digital Dividends.”  Bringing the gains of the digital revolution to everyone requires much work in the real world, according to the report. Read more 

Digital Economy in Senegal: Envisioning the Future By Aneliya Muller Economist / Public Sector Development Consultant (03/06/2018)

Encouraged by the World Bank, leaders in Senegal met to discuss engaging in the digital economy, making digital growth inclusive, and ways to move forward. A two day event in Dakar brought together a diverse mix of stakeholders. Read more

Electricity and the internet: two markets, one big opportunity - Anna Lerner (05/25/2017)

For the one billion people who live off the power grid, there is no internet connectivity without electricity. The potential gains from the digital revolution mean nothing to people who can’t power up a device, which is why electricity and broadband access should go together. Read more

Burkina Faso’s digital ambition: transforming through eGovernment and digital platforms - Samia Melhem (01/12/2017)

Burkina Faso, a small, low-income country in West Africa, has big ambitions.  The country is planning for a digital future.  It is investing in e-government and putting all public agencies, schools and health centers online, while issuing unique digital IDs for all citizens. Read more

Unleashing the transformative power of the internet - Pierre Guislain (04/19/2016)

More than 4 billion people lack access to the internet, with 90 percent of them in developing countries. Unleashing the potential of the internet and a digital economy requires a broad, ambitious and thoughtful approach, according to participants at the Global Connect Initiative meeting at the World Bank. Read more

Operationalizing the WDR - Pierre Guislain (01/14/2016)

The 2016 World Development Report on “Digital Dividends” outlines the barriers that are keeping countries—and their citizens—from benefitting in the digital future.  Gaps in access to high-speed internet is vital, but the quality and price of such access fluctuates wildly from country to country.  Read more

Connecting in Malawi: Using the Internet to Reach the Poor, Isolated, and Women

Building for a digital economy requires access to the information and communications on the internet. Digital Malawi aims to bring the internet to people in Malawi. The idea is to "leapfrog" into the 21st century.


Bringing the Internet to the Unconnected in Malawi

Digital Malawi aims to use 21st century technology to “leapfrog” into the digital future, bringing the internet to millions of users. With connectivity, farmers will be able to access market information, people can get healthcare, and more.


How the Internet Promotes Development Benefits and Risks

The World Bank’s online course on “Digital Dividends” launched in the fall of 2017. Here’s a bite-sized look at some of the course content. Join Deepak Mishra, a macro-fiscal management expert at the World Bank, as he looks at how the internet promotes development: risks and benefits.

How the Internet Promotes Development Analysis and Policy

The World Bank’s online course on “Digital Dividends” launched in the fall of 2017. Here’s a bite-sized look at some of the course content. Uwe Deichmann, a senior urban specialist at the World Bank, examines how the internet promotes development, with a look at analysis and policy.

Digital Development Helping the World Enter the Context Economy

The World Bank’s online course on “Digital Dividends” launched in the fall of 2017. Here’s a bite-sized look at some of the course content. Tech evangelist Christopher Surdak discusses how to help the world enter the context economy.


Accelerating Growth More Trade, Higher Productivity, and Greater Competition

The World Bank’s online course on “Digital Dividends” launched in the fall of 2017. Here’s a bite-sized look at some of the course content. Boutheina Guermazi, a Practice Manager in the World Bank’s Transport and Digital Development Global Practice, addresses ways to accelerate growth—more trade, greater productivity and competition.

Expanding Opportunities Creating Jobs and Boosting Labour Productivity

The World Bank’s online course on “Digital Dividends” launched in the fall of 2017. Here’s a bite-sized look at some of the course content.  Join Jane Treadwell, a Practice Manager in the World Bank’s Transport and Digital Development Global Practice, as she looks at expanding opportunities, creating jobs and boosting labor productivity.

Delivering Services Connecting for a Capable and Accountable Government

The World Bank’s online course on “Digital Dividends” launched in the fall of 2017. Here’s a bite-sized look at some of the course content.  Click for Stephen Davenport, the World Bank’s Global Lead for open government, as he examines service delivery: connecting for a capable and accountable government.

Policy Implications Making the Internet Universal, Affordable, Open and Safe

The World Bank’s online course on “Digital Dividends” launched in the fall of 2017. Here’s a bite-sized look at some of the course content.  Tim Kelly, Lead ICT Policy Specialist at the World Bank, looks at the policy implications of a digital future, and ways to make the internet universal, affordable, open and safe.

National Priorities Making the Internet Work for Everyone

The World Bank’s online course on “Digital Dividends” launched in the fall of 2017. Here’s a bite-sized look at some of the course content. Listen to Samia Melhem, the World Bank’s Global Lead for digital development, as she discusses national priorities and how to make the internet work for everyone.

Six digital technologies to watch

The World Bank’s online course on “Digital Dividends” launched in the fall of 2017. Here’s a bite-sized look at some of the course content.  Randeep Sudan, an advisor to the Transport and Digital Development Global Practice at the World Bank, looks at six digital technologies to watch.

Strengthening the analog foundation of the digital revolution Conclusion

The World Bank’s online course on “Digital Dividends” launched in the fall of 2017. Samia Melhem, the World Bank’s Global Lead for digital development, wraps up our bite-sized look at some of the course content with ideas on strengthening the analog foundations of the digital revolution.

Jim Yong Kim Speech: Unleashing Innovative Technologies for Development

In a speech at the 2018 Mobile World Congress, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim points to the power of big data to streamline, improve and even transform development. Watch here


Transforming Transportation 2018: Realizing Sustainable Mobility for all in the Digital Era

New digital tools to make transportation smarter, cleaner and more efficient are quickly changing the way people move. Experts discussed the changes at the Transforming Transportation conference. Watch here

 Ensuring an Enabling Environment for Digital Development

How to best ensure that everyone has access to the digital future? How to connect the 4 billion without internet access? What are the next steps in making sure the digital revolution is inclusive? Participants in a seminar at the World Bank took on these big questions, and more. Watch here

 Global Connect Initiative with U.S Secretary of State John Kerry

The Global Connect Initiative is a U.S. State Department project designed to make internet access a fundamental part of development. More than 40 countries have joined the Initiative, with the goal of bringing an additional 1.5 billion people online by 2020. At the World Bank-IMF Spring Meetings in 2016, then-Secretary of State John Kerry joined World Bank President Jim Kim and others to discuss progress. Watch here

 World Development Report 2016

There are about 1.1 billion people in the world who can’t prove who they are. Without an unique, secure identity, people don’t have access to schools, banking, and social programs. India is using biometrics in a vast program to give everyone a digital ID, a project that’s having an impact on people’s lives. Watch here

 Transforming People's Lives: Mobile Money in Kenya

Phone-based mobile money has had a huge impact in Kenya ever since its launch in 2007. Access to mobile money has reduced poverty in Kenya, particularly among female-headed households. Watch here


  • Launch of DDP-Funded Innovative Business Models Report (January 24, 2019)


Connecting the Unconnected Sustainably: An Update from Intelsat (November 19, 2018)

In this second DDP Going Digital Speaker Series event, Intelsat showcased flexible and creative solutions for connecting the unconnected using their globalized network and innovative satellite technology. Speakers presented technical options for increasing internet penetration in low-income environments, and zoomed in on the economic, social and human benefits these solutions can provide for mobile networks operators, internet service providers (ISPs), government agencies and end-users. The Intelsat team also shared lessons learned regarding partnership models, policy and regulatory matters, implementation challenges, and the sustainability of their pilot projects, including connected schools in Rwanda; solar-powered WiFi-kiosks (EKOCenters); and a UNHCR project in Ghana. Watch video.  

Harnessing Data Technologies for Better Development (October 30, 2018)

The first event of the Digital Development Partnership (DDP) Going Digital Speaker Series held on October 30th examined the topic of data-driven development, the center of the newly published 2018 Information and Communication for Development (IC4D) report. The report sheds light on how the data revolution is changing the behavior of governments, individuals, and firms and how these changes are affecting the nature of development in its economic, social, and human development dimensions. The discussion focused on the opportunities and challenges in promoting data-driven development, and how better information makes for better policies. Watch Video.


DDP Workshop & Smart Africa Digital Development Study Tour (October 15-19, 2018)

To help governments navigate the fast-paced digital age, the World Bank’s Digital Development Partnership (DDP) gathered high-level representatives from low income countries – ranging from Angola and passing through Indonesia to Uzbekistan – to learn from Korea’s rapid transformation and digital development experience. Co-organized together with Korea’s National Information Society Agency, the 5-day program included a workshop and study tour where representatives from the DDP’s client countries, the Smart Africa Alliance, and the WB’s strategic partners had the opportunity to discuss, exchange, and learn from each other and Korea’s experience as pertains to innovations and challenges in implementing digital government policies and services to citizens, building the foundations of a digital economy, and adopting a data-driven approach to development. During the workshop, the World Bank report on “Data-Driven Development” - the fourth in the Information and Communications for Development series - was presented, and delegations had a chance to discuss how data will shape future development policy.

Digital Development Partnership from Vision to Action (October 13, 2017)

From the importance of data collection, to the necessity of providing internet access to all, to e-government, DDP is working on a broad array of digital initiatives around the world. The World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings in October 2017 offered time for a workshop to update partners, country clients, and those interested in DDP’s latest work. Read more

Ensuring an Enabling Environment for Digital Development (October 8, 2016)

How to best ensure that everyone has access to the digital future? How to connect the 4 billion without internet access? What are the next steps in making sure the digital revolution is inclusive? Participants in a seminar at the World Bank took on these big questions, and more. Watch here

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