GovInsider dives deep into the tech that’s reshaping sustainable development today

By Yogesh Hirdaramani

GovInsider Special Report on Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) goes live with stories from across the world on how DPI is driving digital development, the nuts and bolts of the technology, and what countries can do to accelerate their DPI journeys today.

Highways can enable both public buses and luxury cars to transport people; the Internet can help governments to provide online services portals, and Amazon to offer Black Friday deals; and digital identity systems can allow banks to offer microfinance, and governments to provide social assistance.


Public rails for private innovation: that’s the promise of digital public infrastructure (DPI). That is, a foundation of interoperable tech that both private sector players and public service providers can build on to improve everybody’s lives. These include digital identity, digital payments, and data exchange infrastructure.


And DPI goes beyond building Lego-like tech that can work together: it refers to an approach of building successful ecosystems, according to leading DPI thought leaders, practitioners, and advisors that GovInsider has spoken to in our inaugural Special Report.


These experts share from personal experience how DPI is changing the face of the digital economy while empowering the vulnerable; the principles it takes to build sustainable, inclusive, and impactful DPI; and the nuts and bolts needed to make DPI work. 


But don’t take it from us. Learn from them yourselves.


1. DPI will usher in the next generation of digital economies: CV Madhukar, CEO of Co-Develop


In our first story on DPI, CV Madhukar shares with us how DPI is changing the nature of digital economies, with the success of India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) in mind. He makes a case that it is time for developing countries to leapfrog the legacy curse and embrace DPI, and shares how the Co-Develop fund is supporting these initiatives.

Estonia's Taavi Ploompuu, Head of Personal Services Department, Estonia Information System Authority, shares how Estonia's X-Road continues to change lives today. Image: LinkedIn

2. Estonia’s X-Road: data exchange in the world’s most digital society


Fresh out of independence, Estonia developed one of the world’s first DPI with its pioneering data exchange platform, X-Road, that enabled close public and private sector collaboration. This open source technology has now been implemented in more than 20 countries around the world and is enabling secure cross-border data exchange today, shares Estonian digital leaders.


3. How the Philippines tapped on open source to implement digital identity and improve services 


Digital identity helps governments disburse social benefits at a rapid speed – and time was of the essence during the Covid-19 pandemic. Read the accounts of leaders from the Philippines Statistics Authority to find out how the PhilSys team tapped on open source to fast track their digital identity programme and enroll more than 50 million people in a year.


4. India’s journey to inclusive, accessible and safe digital services


India's approach to digital payments is one of the most successful stories when it comes to DPI. The Unified Payments Interface has become the country's default mode for digital payments, shares Abhishek Singh, President and CEO of the National e-Governance Division with GovInsider.


5. DPI for the disadvantaged: Inside Bangladesh’s inclusive Digital Public Infrastructure drive

Anir Chowdhury, Policy Advisor at Bangladesh's a2i, shares how DPI is driving the country's #ZeroDigitalDivide movement. Image: a2i

Does DPI mean anything when you can’t access the Internet? Leaders from Bangladesh’s a2i share with GovInsider how the country ensures the most vulnerable can benefit from DPI solutions with an access layer, and how it’s open-sourcing its innovative solutions for other developing countries.


6. The United Nations kickstarts a much-needed multi-stakeholder conversation for safeguarding DPI


The DPI scene is moving fast – and so must the conversation on inclusion, ethics, and safety. Leaders from the United Nations share how the global body is working with people on the ground to shape safeguarding principles for DPI and ensure the tech serves everyday folks.


7. The Centre for Digital Public Infrastructure to launch DPI-as-a-Packaged-Solution


So, how can agencies get started? A global team of current and former DPI builders at the Centre for Digital Public Infrastructure works with one country at a time to customise localised solutions that can scale – in less than three months. Find out how.


And it doesn’t stop here. Keep your eyes peeled for a downloadable version of this report with more stories and deep-dives in May, and reach out to us at if you would like to share your own agency’s experience with DPI. 


In the meantime, register for this year’s Festival of Innovation happening on 26 and 27 March in Singapore, which will be hosting a discussion on how DPI can drive digital development in Southeast Asia and beyond.