March 10, 2017 -
ID4Africa recently announced that it has officially endorsed 10 principles on identification that were developed by a consortium of international identity stakeholders led by the World Bank and the Center For Global Development.
The 10 principles outline the benefits of identity systems and describes how stakeholders, including governments and other international agencies, can protect against their risks. The principles focus on three concepts: inclusion, design and governance.
The organizations endorsing the 10 principles recognize the potential of strengthened identification systems to support development and the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Providing legal identity for all the world’s population by 2030 is a shared objective of the international community under the UN Sustainable Development Goals project.
The principles endorsed by ID4Africa include:
1. Ensuring universal coverage for individuals from birth to death, free from discrimination.
2. Removing barriers to access and usage and disparities in the availability of information and technology.
3. Establishing a robust — unique, secure, and accurate — identity.
4. Creating a platform that is interoperable and responsive to the needs of various users.
5. Using open standards and ensuring vendor and technology neutrality.
6. Protecting user privacy and control through system design.
7. Planning for financial and operational sustainability without compromising accessibility.
8. Safeguarding data privacy, security, and user rights through a comprehensive legal and regulatory framework.
9. Establishing clear institutional mandates and accountability.
10. Enforcing legal and trust frameworks through independent oversight and adjudication of grievances.
ID4Africa bills itself as a multi-stakeholder movement that promotes the transparent and responsible adoption of digital ID management in the service of development in Africa.
In a principles document issued by ID4Africa and the other endorsing organizations, they declare that they believe in “creating inclusive, secure, and trustworthy identification systems that can empower individuals and enhance their access to rights, services, and the formal economy.”
They also note that endorsement of the principles “can strengthen the capacity of governments, the private sector, NGOs, and development partners to administer programs and deliver services transparently, efficiently, and effectively.”
The document also states that “the development benefits of improving identification systems may increase substantially with the adoption of digital technology, and many countries are already moving in this direction.”
Endorsement of these principles will certainly be a point of discussion at this year’s ID4Africa conference, a three-day event, scheduled for April 26-28, 2017 in Windhoek, Namibia. The event will provide a comprehensive platform for governments, international development agencies, solution providers and domain experts to exchange ideas and information. The aim of the ID4Africa event will be for governments to advance high-level dialogue, share experiences and examine real world best practices.
BiometricUpdate.com will provide comprehensive coverage as the “official journalist” of the event. Last year, Biometric Update covered delegates from 32 African nations, 22 international development agencies and 80 companies who attended the previous event in Kigali, Rwanda, along with providing coverage from the exhibitor space that featured 60 companies. Biometric Update intends to expand its coverage at the upcoming Windhoek event.