Digital by Choice Training Crash Course

Insights from the meeting of the digital working group at the 2023 SNRD Conference in Senegal

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The Digital Transformation Working Group ⎮ © GIZ

It is widely understood that the significance of digital technologies in reshaping agricultural and food systems is on the rise. Harnessing digital solutions to actively bolster and propel this transformation offers a powerful means to confront pressing challenges, including global food and nutrition insecurity, climate change, youth unemployment, and economic crises.

Therefore, digital solutions have become a modern standard that more and more partner countries demand. Accordingly, digital transformation plays a key role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and BMZ has been promoting their Digital by Default approach since 2018.

What is the Digital by Default approach?

With Digital by Default BMZ refers to the principle that digital components should be incorporated into every project. It shifts the burden of proof to demonstrate the non-viability of digital tools or methods when they are not employed.

This means for us that we need to think systematically about how to employ digital solutions to face common challenges in rural development.

Digital by Default – a reality check

Digital solutions come with great benefits, supporting the implementation of our projects by creating efficiencies, strengthening the delivery, and enhancing impacts. However, GIZ practitioners are facing bottlenecks and stumbling blocks, especially in the process of setting up a digital solution.

Therefore, the Digital Transformation Working Group is bolstering the Digital by Default principle by assisting colleagues in making informed decisions throughout project implementation, aiming for the successful incorporation of the principle. Building upon the Digital by Default principle, GIZ colleagues exercise agency through Digital by Choice.

The Digital Transformation Working Group offered the “Digital by Choice” training and coaching program for GIZ practitioners aimed to equip participants with the essential skills and knowledge required to implement and manage digital solutions. The crash course was offered as pre-conference training followed by a coaching offer at the SNRD conference. It equipped GIZ practitioners with the foundational skills and knowledge required to develop digital solutions.

In mid-October, the Digital Transformation Working Group conducted the full 3-day training for a diverse cohort of 15 GIZ practitioners. The more extensive course advanced our mindset from “digital by default” to “digital by choice”, equipping us with knowledge on the process of developing a digital solution, steering this process and finally delivering digital solutions. Interactive sessions enabled a lively exchange of practical insights and real-world applications in colleagues’ daily work on digital solutions.

What’s in it for me?

Are you interested in receiving personalized coaching as you are working on the development or implementation of a digital solution?

The subsequent coaching is in full swing. As we would like to support additional colleagues, the Working Group Digital Transformation is opening the coaching for members of SNRD.

Sessions can be booked until the end of March 2024 under the following link. First come, first served.

Looking ahead

The positive feedback on the first iteration of the training underscores our commitment to continuous learning. Stay tuned as this joint learning opportunity will be offered again in 2024.

If you are interested in shaping the second edition of the Digital by Choice Training or would like to give us feedback on the training and coaching, please get in touch!


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