How we do things

The Digital Agency for International Development

Our working practices

Our four key working practices are participation, low bandwidth, open source and Agile. We combine best practices from the commercial software sector and the international development sector to create a uniquely effective approach in the way we govern ourselves, engage with our clients and deliver on projects.

Participation - Involving users in defining your project goals

Aptivate’s core belief is that people have the right to participate in decisions that affect their lives. Therefore we seek to enable and facilitate participation as fully and as early as is realistic in our projects.

In order to build a deeper understanding of the requirements we recommend involving real end-users at every stage of the process. This ensures the end product provides a real solution to real needs.

Low bandwidth - Ensuring people can actually use your product

Users in developing countries often have low bandwidth and intermittent internet connections, as well as older technology. Everything we build is created with this in mind so that people can use the site or service with different screen sizes. The page file size needs to be kept as low as possible so that it loads in a reasonable time.

Open source - Allowing our work to have even more impact

Creating open source code means that the work we do can benefit others. There is a huge open source community and often we are able to use the code other people have created and adapt it. The code for many of our projects is available to download, use and adapt for free on GitHub.

We believe that public money should be used for the public good.

Agile - Making the most of your budget

The advantages of flexible and iterative “agile” approaches to developing software are becoming widely recognised. This is where planning and delivery is in short cycles of one or two weeks, rather than all the design work being done up-front before the development starts “waterfall”.

During a project, things change, the ability to adapt is vital to success. In our Agile software development process you are part of the project team and in control of which features are prioritised and what is built next. You are working closely with the team to design each feature, providing feedback and testing with users as we go.

You can read more about our agile development process.

Get in touch

If you are planning a new international development project that involves designing or building a website or information system then we'd love to hear from you. 

Get in touch