Laying the Foundation for the Future: Open Source Sustainability and the Adoption of Digital Public Goods

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


Digital Public Goods (DPGs) present a generational opportunity for states and their partners to work together to rewrite the rules on their citizens’ digital futures at the precise moment when discontent with digital service provision is reaching a boiling point.a Fears of runaway AI deployments, high-profile takeovers of widely-used digital services, private sector-centric policy and expenditure, decreasing transparency and interoperability, vendor lock-in, extractive data collection in support of advertising, and a collapse in monopoly service quality have left long-established models of technology provision at their lowest ebb. But building in the ruins, a new model is emerging, one designed to meet state and non-state requirements, and that is open, interoperable, low- cost, and secure. DPGs are proving their infrastructural credentials. Whether in payment a This policy brief is a result of collaboration betwe systems, biometric ID or in data transfer, countries worldwide are successfully piloting their deployment, bringing new routes for citizens to connect with governments and service providers. DPGs are accelerating economic growth, social inclusion, and the pursuit of the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). New models of technology provision need new models of governance as states and their partners look to move beyond the habits of private procurement. Open Source (OS) DPGs demand a revolution in national and international governance if they are to reach their enormous potential. Establishing spaces, standards, and best practices for the state and cooperative governance of DPGs is a challenge that fits squarely within the G20’s remit. Success at this stage will unlock unprecedented progress in building a global digital ecosystem fit for purpose. This policy brief outlines a path forward.


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