Yoti receives 120 applications for digital identity Fellowship Programme and shares lessons

Yoti has announced the first steps taken by its Fellowship Programme, with a field of more than 120 applications narrowed down to 54 which will be reviewed by its expert selection panel to select three Fellowships.

The Fellowship Programme was launched in April as part of Yoti’s Social Impact Strategy. Applicants come from 26 countries in the Global South, and with a gender balance of roughly 2 to 1 male to female. The company launched its Social Impact Strategy earlier this year as a grassroots-focussed initiative to improve its understanding of and support for individuals and organizations working on critical identity issues, primarily in the global South.

In a blog post, Yoti says the wide range of proposals include projects to help migrants build trust and reputation, consider the pros and cons of digital identity among Afghan refugees, study the challenges in the rollout of Kenya’s Huduma Namba system, learn about public perceptions of digital identity in Malawi, explore difficulties in registering for identification programs by Nigerian citizens, advance digital identity for financial services in South Africa, support street children in Ethiopia with digital identity, and research opportunities for digital identity in Brazilian favelas and among indigenous communities. Output from these possible projects include books, documentary films, handbooks, research papers, websites, and apps, according to Yoti.

Lessons Yoti says it has learned from the process include the importance of putting “digital identity” in the Programme title to avoid confusion, asking for expressions of interest to make it clear how effective its outreach has been, asking where applicants had heard of the project, and word of mouth as a way to reach different audiences.

The selection panel will vote on three top candidates, and five backup choices, to report back by the end of the month, so official offers for one-year fellowships can begin by the end of August. Yoti also say that due to the high number of deserving submissions, it may attempt to award fellowships creatively, such as possibly be dividing one position into two six-month positions. The company also invites parties interested in supporting its Fellows to contact it.

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