How Digital Public Goods Are Creating a GovTech Revolution

Classrooms Going Digital

How Digital Public Goods are Creating a GovTech Revolution

The utilization of technological solutions to millions of people in a crisis, has never been more evident. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the power of leveraging the interdependence and interconnectedness between countries, technological evolution and the necessity for its consumption, to design solutions around it.
In May of 2020, the United Nations Secretary-General called for COVID-19 vaccination platform to be considered as a global public good- Cowin which has been built using a Digital Public Good named DIVOC, and CoWin is one of DIVOC’s largest implementations.
The emergence of Digital Public Goods (DPG) has been witnessed in the last couple of years like never before, wherein technological investments have been made into 'open' tech that can help governments to quickly develop solutions for big and urgent challenges.

What are Digital Public Goods?

Established in 2019, the Digital Public Goods Alliance is a multi-stakeholder initiative with a mission to accelerate the attainment of sustainable development goals in low and middle-income countries by facilitating the discovery, development, usage, and investment in digital public goods. Digital public goods are open-source software, open data, open AI models, open standards, and open content that adheres to privacy and other applicable laws and best practices that do no harm by designing best solutions.


Digital public goods are best known for their three fundamental characteristics:

  • Inclusive.
  • Collaborative.
  • Globally available.
These properties give DPGs the opportunity to eliminate the limited access to information and technologies globally.
While proprietary solutions dominate the digital public infrastructure, concerns over contractual lock-ins and lack of interoperability have led countries to turn to open-source solutions.
It allows basic functions essential for service delivery such as identification, data exchange, payments, optimized management, and overall state capacity. These actions can lead governments to provide universally accessible public services for citizens that are fully citizen-centric.

The Concept of ‘OpenSource’

Through an open access to information and technologies, DPGs offer the opportunity to counteract and execute these developments further. These are a subset of open-source technologies, which people can modify and share because their programming is publicly accessible. Open-source technologies enable digital sovereignty and build trust in technology through openness, direct involvement and preserving entities’ autonomy. Innovations can be distributed through DPGs and at the same time they can also limit economic monopolies over digital solutions and knowledge. For both economic and social reasons, digital public goods thus offer immense advantages.
DPGs are anchored in the idea of "openness" and open-source, with an intention to solve each problem at once. The solution is made widely available to anyone who wishes to use it, modify it or build upon it. When combined with the power of community engagement and accountable governance, DPGs democratize access to government systems while allowing the community to join hands for building citizen-centric services and platforms within an accountable governance framework.

DPGs that have Created a Mark in the OpenSource Ecosystem, Globally

A developing country like India is pioneering the concept of digital public goods that facilitate the ease, transparency, and speed with which individuals, markets, and governments interact.
Modular applications, be it big or small, are transforming the way we live in this digital world by changing how we make payments, withdraw our PF, get our passport and driving license, check land records, to name just a few activities that are all a by-product of DPGs.
DPGs are facilitating open and interoperable platforms, let’s go through some of the examples of DPGs that have been implemented at massive scale which have facilitated a GovTech Revolution
MOSIP, an open-source platform meant for governments or international organizations to build foundational identification systems in a cost-effective way, is already being implemented by a few countries to create foundational ID systems similar to AADHAAR in India.
DIVOC was built with a “make in India but for the world” approach and being an open-source solution available for other countries to adopt. DIVOC is a digital public good that helps countries roll out national vaccination and other public health programs, is an open-source free to use software solution that has been integrated with India’s vaccination platform CoWIN.
Sunbird is an open-source platform empowering school education in India through projects DIKSHA which offer flexibility to create volumes of digital learning content that is being offered to students via the QR codes printed on their textbooks. This open-source solution has also grabbed the interest of various non-profits, and government organizations, planning to implement it in several other countries like Peru and Costa Rica.

Digital Public Goods- Building Trust and Enabling Scalability

Indias contribution to DPGs Infographic

Digital Public Goods allow countries to iterate for future needs and bring down costs over the long-term. In India, switching primary and secondary schools’ digital solutions to open-source software (through platforms like DIKSHA) reduced resourcing costs by a great extent.
DPGs have also been able to gain user’s trust in technology for solutions that involve sensitive information as in the case of digital public infrastructure.
Open source is collaborative enough to leave the door open for solutions to be added, thus reducing the time and financial costs of scaling. Use and recognition of open source’s value have grown to an extent where nearly all software has some open-source component included. Open-source codebases are largely present in the major industrial sectors such as FinTech, HealthTech and EdTech.

Leveraging Open Source Technologies to Deliver Citizen-Centric Solutions

India's digital diplomacy can benefit and be welcomed by all emerging economies as they seek to establish their digital foundation. India's positioning as a leading technology player in the digital age can be enhanced by exporting made-in-India digital public goods around the world.
Tekdi has been a strong catalyst for societal transformation by empowering organizations and individuals with technology by leveraging the Open Source technologies in order to citizen-centric solutions. These solutions are driven by a combination of well-thought strategies, passionate teamwork, and an evolving culture rooted in innovation and automation. Tekdi’s experience of working collaboratively in the DPG ecosystem has been benefiting Government platforms and solutions through cost-effective, secure, and up-to-date solutions. Team Tekdi looks forward to further maximizing the potential of these technologies, new mindsets, collaborations and approaches to the best of technological capacity.

Transform your business today