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titleChange Management

Change Management is a term used to describe the activities that are undertaken to support users and managers of digital products or sourcing activities, when new products or services are introduced.

Source: DIAL Procurement Glossary


Commercial off-the-shelf software


Any form of technology and data use in any sector, public or private.

Source: UNU-eGOV

titleDigital Asset Management

The process of managing the lifecycle and associated costs of a digital asset i.e. a digital product that has been acquired by an organisation or department.

Source: DIAL Procurement Glossary

titleDigital Development Ecosystem

An interconnected web of actors working cross-functionally toward digital inclusion. DIAL recognizes that the digital ecosystem is more complex than this, and that its true promise likely lies in engaging more widely with excluded voices.

Source: Leadership Series Brief #2: Leave No One Behind (LNOB)

titleDigital Divide

The distinction between those who have internet access and are able
to make use of new services offered on the internet and those who are excluded from
these services.

Source: DIAL LNOB Leadership Brief, via TVETipedia Glossary

titleDigital Economy

The Digital Economy incorporates all economic activity reliant on, or significantly enhanced by the use of digital inputs, including digital technologies, digital infrastructure, digital services and data. It refers to all producers and consumers, including government, that are utilising these digital inputs in their economic activities.

Source: OECD: Roadmap toward a common framework for measuring the digital economy

titleDigital (ICT) Building Block

A digital or ICT Building Block is an enterprise-ready, reusable software component that provides key functionality to facilitate generic workflows across multiple sectors.


  • Reusable software components

  • Can be open-source, commercial off-the-shelf (COTS), or freely available with open access to data

  • Facilitates one or more generic WorkFlows

  • Applicable to multiple UseCases across multiple sectors

  • Interoperable with other ICT Building Blocks

  • Designed for scalability and extensibility

  • Standards-based

Each ICT Building Block includes a description, key digital functionalities, sector-specific examples, example software products, and mappings to WorkFlows defined in this framework. The list of ICT Building Blocks, exemplar software products, and mappings is not exhaustive and more will be added in future releases. Please note that the software product examples are for illustrative purposes only. Further mapping and ranking of existing products based on maturity, sustainability and applicability to the ICT Building Blocks will be addressed overtime.


titleDigital Principles

The “Principles for Digital Development” are nine living guidelines that are designed to help integrate best practices into technology-enabled programs. They include guidance for every phase of the project life cycle, and they are part of an ongoing effort among development practitioners to share knowledge and support continuous learning. The Principles for Digital Development cover nine core areas that are critically important to the long-term success of digital technology programs. The 9 Principles can be viewed here:

Source: DIAL Procurement Glossary

titleDigital Public Goods

The digital products, software, and data—and the algorithms that drive them—that serve to educate us, help us thrive in our professional lives, enrich our cultural experiences, and ultimately do good for the benefit of humankind. (UNICEF) The Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation noted the requirement for them to be freely and openly available with minimal restrictions. (Report)
Digital public goods include:

  • Open source software: Libraries, application programming interfaces (APIs), and algorithms for which the source code is released under a license that allows the user to use, study, change, and distribute it.

  • Open data and content: Information or knowledge that is released under a license that allows the user to use, study, and distribute it.

  • Open standards: Publicly available compendia of norms, laws, specifications, and reference implementations.

Source: Digital Beacons: DIAL’s 2021-2026 Strategic Plan

titleDigital Services

A broad term referring to the electronic delivery of data or functionality.

titleDigital Technologies

Platforms, processes, and a range of technologies that underpin modern information and communications technologies (ICT), including the internet and mobile phone platforms, as well as advanced data infrastructure and analytical approaches.

titleDigital Transformation

As an outcome refers to the economic and societal effects of digitization and digitalization. (1)

As a process, it refers to the ways digital is disrupting and re-inventing traditional services, sectors, businesses, economies, and societies, challenging ideas of how economic and social activities are organized and enacted. (2)



The conversion of analogue data and processes into a machine-readable format.

Source: OECD


A term coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw that describes the interconnected nature of social categories such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, which can create or reinforce overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.

titleLeast Developed Countries

A United Nations classification of low-income countries confronting severe structural impediments to sustainable development. They are highly vulnerable to economic and environmental shocks and have low levels of human assets. LDCs have exclusive access to certain international support measures in particular in the areas of development assistance and trade.

Source: Derived from United Nations Category; Leadership Series Brief #2: Leave No One Behind (LNOB)

titleLeave No One Behind (LNOB)

The central, transformative promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It represents the unequivocal commitment of all UN Member States to eradicate poverty in all its forms, end discrimination and exclusion, and reduce the inequalities and vulnerabilities that leave people behind and undermine the potential of individuals and of humanity as a whole.

Source: Leadership Series Brief #2: Leave No One Behind (LNOB)


A socially constructed status in which a society labels certain individuals as outside of the norm and therefore treats them as peripheral or insignificant.

Source: DIAL Leadership Series Brief #2: Leave No One Behind (LNOB)

titleNational Digital Transformation

As an outcome, refers to the economic and societal effects of digitalization as it disrupts and reinvents innovative domains across the economy and society of a country, including government institutions.

As a process, refers to the use of digital technologies to radically or fundamentally improve how a country’s socioeconomic conditions benefit all citizens, improve digital government, improve gender equality, boost productivity / growth / jobs, develop digital skills/literacy, and drive innovation (i.e., promote economic growth and sustainable development OR a country’s specific priorities, which could be the SDGs).

See related terms:


titleOperating Model (Technology)

An Operating Model is a framework for an organisation to align itself with the overall business strategy and goals. It outlines the governance structure and how it functions as an entity.

Source: DIAL Procurement Glossary

titleOpen Source

Software developed by informal collaborative networks of programmers and are usually free. Anyone is freely licensed to use, copy, study, and change the software in any way, and the source code is openly shared so that people are encouraged to voluntarily improve the design of the software.

  • Free and Open Source (FOSS) – refers to user’s freedom to copy and reuse the software

  • Free/Libre Open Source software (FLOSS) - Emphasizes the value of ‘libre’, i.e., few or no restrictions.


A platform is a group of technologies that are used as a base upon which other technologies can be built or applications and services run. For example, the internet is a platform that enables web applications and services.

titleResponsible Data Use

The duty to ensure people’s right to consent, privacy, security, and ownership around the information process of collection, analysis, storage, presentation, and reuse of data, while respecting the values of transparency and openness.

Source: DIAL Digital Beacons Strategy Plan

titleScenario Analysis

In a procurement context, scenario analysis is the process of comparing different offers and options within offers to find the best buying option for an organisation. For example, a scenario could be, what if we ‘cherry picked’ the lowest prices for individual components from different suppliers, or what if we awarded to multiple suppliers instead of one.

Source: DIAL Procurement Glossary

titleSDG Digital Investment Framework

Short Definition: A framework consisting of four interrelated layers which can be used to help governments and their partners to take a whole-of-government approach to invest in shared digital infrastructure to strengthen SDG programming across sectors.

Long Definition: The SDG Digital Investment Framework helps governments and their partners to take a whole-of-government approach to invest in shared digital infrastructure to strengthen SDG programming across sectors.

The framework accomplishes this by defining four interrelated layers:

  • SDG Targets define high-level objectives to which governments systematically align their
    development goals.

  • Use Cases define the steps necessary to achieve a business objective contributing to one or more
    SDG Targets.

  • Workflows are generic business processes, such as 'client communication’ or ‘procurement’, that
    support the delivery of a Use Case.

  • ICT Building Blocks are enterprise-ready, reusable software components that provides key functionality to facilitate generic workflows across multiple sectors.


titleSDG Targets

Each sustainable development goal has a list of targets which are measured with indicators so that governments systematically align their development goals.

titleService Level Agreement

A service-level agreement is a commitment between a service provider and a client, that outlines key performance criteria. In an SLA for digital services, the agreement typically monitors performance criteria such product availability and outages, Ticket Time to Resolve (TTTR), exception and limitations and more.

Source: DIAL Procurement Glossary

titleSubject Matter Experts

A technical or functional expert who forms a part of a project team, with the specific role of providing input and advice into technical or functional areas.

Source: DIAL Procurement Glossary

titleSustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Defined high-level objectives to which governments systematically align their development goals.

The SDGs comprise 17 goals and 169 targets representing global priorities for investment in order to achieve sustainable development. The SDGs were set in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly and are intended to be achieved by the year 2030.


titleTotal Cost of Ownership

An approach used to look across all costs associated with a product or service. For example, in a digital context this includes the purchase price for licenses, support and maintenance costs, implementation, change management, product enhancements and other costs.

Source: DIAL Procurement Glossary

titleUse Cases

Define the steps necessary to achieve a business objective contributing to one or more SDG Targets.



An approach where public service agencies (i.e. governments) work across portfolio boundaries to achieve a shared goal and use an integrated government response to particular issues.

titleWhole-of-government approach (WGA)

DIAL’s Definition
In the digital government services context, it refers to a cross-sectoral and cross-organizational consideration of individuals’ needs with reference to delivering digital government services in a more integrated and coordinated manner.
Source: SDG Digital Investment Framework

The following definitions are listed in case there is a need to use the term outside of the digital government services context:

Approach is one in which public service agencies work across portfolio boundaries, formally and informally, to achieve a shared goal and an integrated government response to particular issues. It aims to achieve policy coherence in order to improve effectiveness and efficiency. This approach is a response to departmentalism that focuses not only on policies but also on programme and project management.
Source: WHO, (2015). Contributing to social and economic development: sustainable action across sectors to improve health and health equity.

In the digital policy context, it means taking a cross-sectoral and cross-organizational view of the formulation and implementation digitalization policies and frameworks in order to realize intrinsic collaborative efficiencies and therefore streamline decision-making.
Source: GSMA Advancing digital societies in Asia Pacific: a whole-of-government approach

Generically it refers to the joint activities performed by diverse ministries, public administrations, and public agencies in order to provide a common solution to particular problems or issues.
Source: Wikipedia

titleWhole of society

“Acknowledge the contribution of and important role played by all relevant stakeholders, including individuals, families and communities, intergovernmental organizations and religious institutions, civil society, academia, the media, voluntary associations and, where and as appropriate, the private sector and industry, in support of national efforts for noncommunicable disease prevention and control, and recognize the need to further support the strengthening of coordination among these stakeholders in order to improve the effectiveness of these efforts;” (Source: 2011 Political Declaration, (37))


Generic business processes, such as client communication or procurement, that support the delivery of a use case.