The panel met for the second time in January. It was a slightly smaller group, perhaps due to the perils of a winter meeting and last minute illnesses. However, 2 detailed presentations helped share more information with panel members about the way the department works and the challenges we face. This information stimulated detailed and constructive input from all panel members.
Members saw an early draft of a paper which aims to map the digital landscape. It will produce an overview of the wide and diverse range of organisations involved in the digital for development sector, including big donor organisations such as the World Bank and USAID, philanthropic funds such as the Omidyar Network and Gates Foundation, private sector businesses, organisations who often work in partnership to implement programmes, think tanks and research institutions, and increasingly the governments of developing countries.
The results of this research will help ensure that when we take decisions about programmes to support, we are sure we are working with the right people, in sectors where we are best placed to have an impact.
We also invited panel members to put forward the areas where they have specific skills to offer, with a view to inviting different teams in DFID to work more closely with individuals on specific projects.
This was also a good opportunity to share our plans for a "digital for development" event which we plan to hold in the spring for DFID staff. The event has 3 goals: to showcase some of the innovative programmes that are going on at the moment to a wide audience of colleagues, to provide a forum for discussing some of the key challenges the digital agenda raises, and finally to encourage and enthuse colleagues with ideas they can adopt in their own work as to the opportunities offered. We have invited panel members to present and chair sessions.
Future meetings will look at our capability improvement plans in more detail, the full draft of the landscape report, and our options for better management information. The panel now has an online home. Besides subscribing to this blog, you can follow progress its on GOV.UK.