1. What is a digital public good?
Digital public goods (DPGs) are open source software, open data, open AI systems, and open content collections that adhere to privacy and other applicable laws and best practices, do no harm by design, and help attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This definition is operationalised through the DPG Standard, a set of nine indicators that is used to determine whether a solution is a digital public good. Once a solution is recognised as a digital public good it is discoverable on the DPG Registry.
2. What is the process to become a DPG?
Each application is reviewed by two individual reviewers. The application may also be sent to external experts for their input on particular indicators. In case further clarifications are required from the applicant, the review team will get in touch through the web app.
Once the application completes the assessment process, it will either be marked as a ‘DPG’ (if it passes all indicators) or as ‘Ineligible’ (if it fails one or more indicators).
3. What is the benefit of becoming a DPG?
Being recognised as a digital public good is increasingly beneficial as the concept of digital public goods gains awareness and traction, including:
- Increasing the discoverability and promotion of the digital solution: The DPG registry is shared with a broad audience of stakeholders including governments, NGOs, and the private sector. Content from the registry is also fed into other partner catalogues.
- Deployment opportunities: Relevant digital solutions are showcased to high level stakeholders for particular focus areas.
- Connecting with a global community: DPG owners have regular meetups and conferences to share knowledge, leverage networks, and hasten development.
4. How do I know if my solution is eligible to become a DPG?
To check the eligibility of a digital solution, you can take our quick, 5 minute eligibility test. This will help you assess the readiness of your solution.
1. Where can I find resources to help build my application?
The submission guide contains an overview of all the information you will need to put together your application. There is also a Github repository, which contains more nuanced information regarding different types of applications and questions. The most comprehensive guide to filling out the application can be found at the Help Centre.
2. I need specific information, how can I reach out to you?
If after going through all available resources, you have further questions or need any assistance, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. I was asked for clarifications, how can I submit them?
You can submit requested clarifications through the Application Portal. Once you log into your account, the dashboard will show your application with a yellow box saying ‘Clarifications Required’. Click on the ‘View & Respond’ button on the right and your application will open up.
The indicators where clarifications are requested will be marked with a yellow dot on the side. You can click on those indicators, enter your clarifications in the text box, and then press save. Once you have responded to all clarifications, please press ‘Submit’.
Please ensure that you provide all clarifications in a clear and concise manner – we depend on self-reporting by all applicants and discourage repeated rounds of clarifications with our review team in order to optimise time. In cases where the clarifications submitted are not self-explanatory and complete, the digital solution will be marked as ‘Ineligible’.
4. I submitted the requested clarifications; then I was asked for further clarifications. What should I do?
In rare cases, a reviewer might ask applicants to submit a second round of clarifications. You will be notified of this through email. The process of submitting clarifications is the same as listed in question 3.
Please ensure that you understand the requirements being asked of you and submit them accordingly. If you have any questions regarding what is needed, please reach out to the review team at email@example.com before submitting the second round of clarifications.
5. The status on my application says ‘Under Consultation’, what does that mean?
Sometimes the review team needs further insights on a particular indicator than the information provided by an applicant. In these cases, they pass on the application to an external expert reviewer for their input. During this time, the status of the application shows as ‘Under Consultation’.
Once the expert has reviewed the application and submitted their feedback, it is reviewed again by the DPG review team and a decision is reached. You will be notified of the final decision via email.
6. I have already submitted my application and now I need to update my information, how can I do this?
If you need to update the information on your application once it has already been listed as a DPG – if for example, the links to documentation become more robust, or it is adopted by more countries – you can write to the DPG Review Team at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will update the information on the DPG Registry.
Please note that if the change includes modifications which affect a DPGs’ open-source capabilities, the application will have to be reassessed to ensure that it still meets the requirements.
If an application previously marked as ‘Ineligible’ has now updated their documentation and / or processes, it will have to re-submit a new application. The old version of the application cannot be revived.
Applications currently under review cannot be modified. Please verify all the information before submitting it.
1. Who makes the decision regarding applications?
All applications are reviewed by two individual reviewers. Sometimes, they loop in an external expert for their input. All decisions are final and jointly held by the DPGA Secretariat.
2. When can I expect a decision?
We try to process applications as quickly as possible. The exact timelines depend on a variety of factors such as whether:
- Clarifications are required by the applicants;
- The application has to be forwarded to an expert;
- There is a larger initiative (such as DPG-status being a prerequisite for certain awards or grants) which has resulted in an influx of applications at the same time;
- In rare cases, the DPG Standard is about to undergo a change so reviews have been temporarily paused.
As such, we cannot provide a specific timeline, but our review team endeavours to review all applications as quickly as possible, while allowing them time to be fairly evaluated.
3. How long is DPG status valid for? What happens after that?
DPG status is valid for a period of one year from its approval. This is to ensure that all solutions comply with the latest version of the DPG Standard.
All applications undergo an automatic review process at the end of the year. In case certain parameters have changed or further clarifications are needed, the review team will reach out over email.
In case the solution fails to meet the DPG Standard even after your response, or there is no response received, the solution will be marked as ‘Expired’ and be removed from the DPG Registry.
4. What happens if my application fails?
If an application fails one or more indicators, it will be marked as ‘Ineligible’. In case you have queries as to why your solution failed and what you can do, please reach out to the DPG Review Team and we will be happy to provide more details.
Don’t be disheartened: Once the suggested changes have been implemented into your solution, you can always reapply to become a DPG!
5. What if I don’t agree with the decision?
All decisions are taken after careful consideration and multiple rounds of evaluation. The decision making process is publicly documented and can be assessed through your dashboard on the Application Portal.
If your solution is not accepted, we would recommend updating your documentation or processes as suggested by the review team and then reapplying.
All decisions are final.
However, if you still have queries or believe that your solution was erroneously judged, please reach out to the DPG Review Team at email@example.com.
6. What happens if I notice a difference between how the DPG Standard was applied to two applications of a similar nature?
All applications are evaluated against the same DPG Standard. However, the standard is an evolving open source project. This means that the criteria to become a DPG may change slightly over time. Therefore, applications evaluated at a certain time may have passed, but a new application evaluated against some new or additional criteria may not.
However, all applications undergo a yearly review to bring them all up to the latest version of the standard, and those that don’t pass are removed from the system.