Digital Societies - What we do

A project worker approaches volunteers, Nigeria, 2019. Photo credit: Photos by KC Nwakalor for USAID / Digital Development Communications (CC BY 2.0)

Digital Societies (formerly RAPID) is ODI’s newest programme. The digital revolution is fundamentally changing our patterns of production, consumption and employment; influencing relationships among and between citizens and the state. Digitalisation has enormous potential to drive positive change and economic growth, but the gains need to be more equitably distributed to ensure this new prosperity reaches vulnerable and marginalised groups. Working with others across ODI, our research will seek to understand the growing influence of digital technologies on trajectories of social and economic change and the implications for policy-makers, civil society and the private sector.  

Using qualitative and quantitative evidence and a range of analytical techniques we will initially emphasise work on government decision-making with and about digital technologies and on monitoring, evaluation and learning. We will take a whole-system approach to understand the risks digitalisation could pose to legitimacy in decision-making and how these risks might be mitigated.