Red Cross Norway tender seeks digital ID help for humanitarian aid

Red Cross Norway tender seeks digital ID help for humanitarian aid

The Norwegian Red Cross has issued a tender for digital ID for remote and low-connectivity environments to improve humanitarian aid delivery.

The tender was published in early July to the Mercell e-tender platform, and bids are due on August 5, 2019. It notes that over a billion people are said by the World Bank to be without legal proof of identity, creating challenges in ensuring basic rights and accessing essential services, including government programs and financial accounts.

Identity management remains one of the top challenges to humanitarian actions, according to the tender document. Some of those without proof of ID have lost it while fleeing natural disaster or conflict, while others have never been issued one, for various reasons. Many of the attempts to address the issue are ad hoc or siloed within individual aid organizations, the Red Cross says.

“Early experiences in developing digital ID solutions seem to indicate potential for empowering and engaging recipients of aid, facilitating efficient and large-scale cash transfer Programming (CTP), and enhancing coordination and collaboration among multiple agencies,” according to the tender document.

The UNHCR meanwhile is offering a consultancy position on digital identity, including biometrics, within the Data and Identity Management Service out of its Copenhagen Headquarters.

The position involves contributing technical expertise for the development of multiyear projects on digital identity to support UNHCR’s Population Registration and Identity Management Ecosystem (PRIMES), and assisting efforts for increasing interoperability between PRIMES and host states’ identity management systems or partner UN agency systems in selected country operations.

The consultant will report to the Senior Identity Management Officer, with duties potentially including supporting the finalization of plans for sharing displaced persons’ biometrics and other personal data with other agencies, providing expertise for projects such as future development of UNHCR’s BIMS and IrisGuard biometric systems, and analyzing UNHCR’s current registration practices to make recommendations for improvements.

Applicants are expected to have more than a decade of experience working with digital identity, refugees and displaced persons, and consulting with a wide range of stakeholders. Applications are due July 17, 2019.

Oxfam put a self-imposed moratorium on biometrics use in its aid projects into place in 2015, and began a research project in late-2017 to consider the issue, which found that humanitarian agencies should continue working towards and monitoring the development of standards that can ensure the safe use of biometric technology. Other humanitarian organizations such as IOM and the World Food Program have embraced biometrics for the efficiency and oversight advantages they offer.

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