1 September 2020
Salsa Digital


D9 consists of nine digital pioneering countries — Canada, Estonia, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Portugal, Republic of Korea, United Kingdom and Uruguay. The group started as D5 in 2014, and over the years grew as more countries joined to D7 and now D9.

The group’s focus is on improving digital government and helping one another through knowledge sharing and common projects.

The summits

Each year, D9 nations come together through a summit hosted by one of the members. Each summit explores a different area(s):

  • 2014, UK: Teaching children to code, connectivity and open markets

  • 2015, Estonia: Better procurement for public sector IT solutions, ensuring digital trust, user needs-based service design, and IT talent management in the public sector

  • 2016, Korea: Leading digital innovation

  • 2017, New Zealand: 'e kōre e taea e te whenu kotahi te whāriki te raranga' — 'one strand alone will not weave a tapestry' — with a particular focus on digital rights

  • 2018, Israel: Ethical artificial intelligence, digital rights, digital identity

  • 2019, Uruguay: Data 360°

There’s no information on the site about 2020, but perhaps COVID-19 has got something to do with that.

D9’s themes

D9 currently has four themes they’re actively focused on:

  • Digital ID — Sharing knowledge and experience to help all member nations advance their digital identity initiatives.

  • Digital rights — Helping to protect people’s rights within a digital government and society.

  • Artificial intelligence — Sharing knowledge, source code, training data and other information to drive the ethical use of AI in government.

  • Data 360° — Working on a holistic (360°) approach to data to strategically leverage data, showcasing cutting-edge data technologies and sharing best practices.

Principles D9 follows

According to the D9 website, the nation participants follow these key principles:

  • User needs
  • Open standards
  • Open source
  • Open markets
  • Open government
  • Connectivity
  • Teaching children to code
  • Assisted digital
  • A commitment to share and learn

Many of these principles are common themes explored during our Digital Transformation in Government (DTIG) blogs, and our Insights in general, especially around the areas of open standards, open source and open government. For example, recent DTIGs have included:

There’s also a strong crossover with the Digital Transformation Agency’s Digital Service Standards, specifically:

  • 1. Understand user needs
  • 3. Agile and user-centred process
  • 7. Use open standards and common platforms
  • 8. Make source code open

Salsa Digital’s take

D9 is an exciting initiative that ties in well with Salsa’s vision — to help governments become more open, more connected and more consolidated. D9 shows governments around the world working together, sharing knowledge and building on each other’s strengths. We’re also advocates for many of D9’s principles, especially around open standards, open source, and open government. In addition, we’re also passionate about data and how Australia (and other countries) can leverage the new world of open data and APIs, which aligns with D9’s Data 360° theme. Moving forward, we’d like to see the D9 become the D10...with the addition of Australia. Let’s make it happen!

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