Course/certification on the Principles


I was wondering if there are any (online) training courses on the Principles? To really bring the principles into practice within our organisation, we have been discussing organising some kind of a training course for staff on the principles, at the end of which participants would be “certified” to act as PDD focal points. However, we obviously don’t want to reinvent the wheel in case something like this exists already.

Any leads?
General thoughts?
Interest in developing something like it?


Nora Lindström
Global Coordinator for Digital Development

Based at Plan International Finland
Lautatarhankatu 6
00580 Helsinki

Mobile: + 358 45 613 4244


Hi Nora,

I don’t know of any materials, see my post here

However, I do think this is really important - shall we see who else responds in this thread, and then have a Skype call? I’d be very happy to join some kind of action group to develop something.



Hi Nora, There isn’t a course yet - but good idea for something that TechChange (can you tag people on these posts, is Nick Martin or Chris Neu following these threads?) or similar organization could deliver. I thought DIAL had it in the works for 2018?

So you know, DAI has put together a training course on the Principles as well for DFID. Perhaps DFID would also be interested in supporting this type of course? My question was always… who is the audience? What is the level at which to “teach” about the Principles? How do you make it specific enough that it is useful and tangible and at the same time general enough so it doesn’t scare those away who may be new to the topic.



Thanks Carolyn!

My thinking was exactly that TechChange might be able to lead on something like this. @chris?

@Dustin - do you have any news on this?

If DAI has already put something together for DFID, surely it would be in the spirit of the Principles to share? :slight_smile:




Hello @NLindstrom ,
Thank for your excellent question! Also, belated thanks to @Bjoern as well for his outreach to the community back in Dec. I lost track of your message, somehow, in the holiday rush. My apologies.

Professional development on the Digital Principles is a important topic - and we’ve been thinking a lot here about how to move beyond endorsement of the Digital Principles (which is important - but relatively simple), and into deeper use and socialization of them across organizations, sectors, geographies, etc. Please check out the questions below - we welcome your thoughts.

Long story short: There are several projects in the pipeline for FY18 & FY19 that target professional development in different ways. And as @CarolynFlorey pointed out above, we have been considering how best to create a certification or training course about the Digital Principles, as it has been the most requested resource from us to date.

First, I’d note that last year we invested in the revision of all our Digital Principles implementer guidance - it’s live on the website. No - it’s not a course, certification, or a blended learning experience, but it is helpful guidance with a ton of associated resources. If you are looking to create a course specific to your organization in the short term, using this helpful guidance is a good place to start.

This year, we are laser-focused on the creation of new materials to help funder organizations on the integration of the Digital Principles into their work. For more info, check out the RFP we issued late last year. The first phase of that is a landscape analysis, which is underway now and should be completed in about 6 weeks. We are committed to sharing these findings publicly once the report is finalized. The next phase of that work will involve creating resources for funder organizations (which can also be reused by implementers) - and will likely be ready for comment (and testing) in the spring/summer.

We are also working on a “Principles in a Box” suite of materials for later this year that will help endorsers run their own Digital Principles-themed events and workshops for staff, partners, and the public. The suite of materials for this will also include easy-to-understand resources for early introduction of the Digital Principles to new organizations or staff.

Finally, there are preliminary items slated for consideration in late FY18/early FY19 - including some version of a certification or training program. The shape of those items is still under consideration, but I suspect will also involve a landscape analysis of the best way to go about generating a program that is:

  • Useful
  • Relevant to core audiences
  • Adaptable for a variety of contexts

Sorry for the long answer, but I thought it helpful to give a window into our thinking here at DIAL. I’d welcome further thoughts from all in this community. What would be useful for you and your organization? The more specific the answers you can offer, the better “food for thought” for our role as stewards.

Best regards,


Hi Nora
I work at Newcastle University and I’m currently working on the DfID funded HDIF project in Tanzania. As part of this project we have been developing some case studies on each of the nine principles and last year we also started to think about developing some kind of short online course to be available via the FutureLearn platform. It is much more complex than I originally thought and so collaborating with others will be key. Be Collaborative is of course one of the principles and any project developing this kind of course would obviously have to adhere to all of nine principles themselves - which is no easy task!

With reference to certifying people to act as focal points - this would only work if the person in question completed some kind of annual refresher course, to take into account the rapid pace of change within the digital sector. You certainly wouldn’t want just one so called ‘official course’. Instead you would want to see a variety of different kinds of courses emerge. With reference to the principle Reuse and Improve - I wonder if any online courses already exist that cover a similar subject area?
Dr James Stanfield, Newcastle University, UK


Very interesting discussion…it’s a while ago. Could there be more recent news especially from @Stanfield or @Dustin

Hi Peter. No updates from me I’m afraid.