Exploring Different Financing Models for Digital Public Infrastructure and Why They Matter

This Policy Brief was first published in https://t20ind.org


Despite the increasing instances of digital public infrastructure (DPI) deployment, there is little public information on how different DPIs are financed and practically no publicly available estimates on how much it costs to implement a DPI. Financing of DPIs is a complex issue involving decision- making on public policy objectives, operations, stakeholder management, and governance. This policy brief proposes understanding the financing of DPIs using the strategic triangle framework that weaves together three key elements of any policy priority: (i) public value, (ii) operational feasibility, and (iii) support or political feasibility. It is important for the G20 to build an understanding of different financing models and their context to help navigate implications on aid programmes, trade policy, and global governance frameworks. This brief proposes key considerations on financing of DPIs, which includes both capital and the operational costs of a DPI. Financing models are not only important to kick-off a DPI, but are integral to its sustainable use and successful realisation of objectives. Accordingly, this brief recommends that the G20 build knowhow on financing models for DPIs, focus on financing DPIs for low-income countries, and encourage the acceptance of different financing choices adopted by countries.

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