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Digital identity boosts public infrastructure for India, Philippines

Digital identity boosts public infrastructure for India, Philippines

Digitization of state bureaucracy, digital identity, digital public infrastructure and digital skills have been recognized for their important role in development – for mature and emerging economies – around the world. An alternative to the usual centralized approach is being taken in the Philippines, with Affinidi and Ceal enlisted to help workers share their professional credentials.

Fund managers eye India’s biometric-based digitization

India’s digital transformation progress, mostly thanks to the scaling of its digital public infrastructure (DPI) grounded in Aadhaar, is making the country of interest to investors, according to an article by Forbes.

The country has been able to digitize access to more than 300 government services thanks to such infrastructure, the article mentions, with its digital payments ecosystem, which also uses the national digital identity system, being one of the fastest and most efficient in the world.

A report by Utah-based Wasatch Emerging Markets Select Fund in May 2022 lauding the efforts made by India’s government to accelerate its digital metamorphosis and economic growth is cited extensively.

That report follows one from the McKinsey Global Institute in 2019 that names India as one of the fastest digitizing countries in the world, and states that key digital sectors have the potential to create huge wealth for the country in the next few years.

Recently, an executive of the International Money Fund also praised the role played by the Aadhaar ID in fueling India’s digitization efforts and economic growth.

In September, a forum held on the sidelines of the 77th United Nations general assembly discussed the importance of global collaboration and coordination on DPI to help governments meet the sustainable development goals.

G20 urged to scale adoption of DPIs

Meanwhile, in an essay published by research and analyses publication ORF, a case is made for the adoption of DPI which has proven to be a crucial method through which governments can respond to emergency situations. The essay dwells on the importance of DPI and the advantages of such infrastructure.

As such, it urges the G20 group of countries to push for the adoption of DPIs as a necessary tool “for strengthening country, regional, and global resilience in an age of recurrent crises, and DPGs can be highlighted as a way of enabling this to happen faster and better.”

Some of the proposed actions for the G20 to consider include taking a commitment to open data access, encouraging inclusive private and public collaboration, increasing public sector support and funding for joint DPI, and setting the global norms and standards to protect people and their data.

The essay concludes that if DPIs are developed in an inclusive manner and with the necessary safeguards, they can help countries show a lot of resilience when faced with emergency situations, as exemplified by the recent coronavirus pandemic outbreak.

MoU to speed up digital workforce upskilling in Philippines

A memorandum of understanding has been concluded between decentralized digital ID provider Affinidi, and a private sector movement working to build sustainable digital ecosystems with tech startups Digital Pilipinas (DP), with the goal of enabling workers in the country to access verifiable credentials (VCs) of their skills on their smart phones.

Going by the terms of the MoU, Affinidi will provide its expertise in digital credentialing through its mobile application and digital wallet Ceal.

Individuals will be able to receive their skills crtificates as VCs, and store them securely on mobile phones using decentralized technology. They can also build and manage their digital identity on the Ceal app and control what information they wish to share, with whom, and when to share it, the release adds.

“Verifiable credentials not only help reduce processing time but they also greatly enhance the user experience and empower individuals and organisations to have control of their personal data,” said Glenn Gore, CEO of Affinidi.

“We are excited to be working closely with Digital Pilipinas to help digitalize the Philippine workforce and transform the country’s economy through the use of innovative technologies.”

This project is planned for two phases. In the first, Digital Pilipinas will issue certificate of participation to all participants who have attended the Philippines Fintech Festival 2022 slated for November, while the second phase will see the re-launch of DP Academy and issuance of knowledge certificate VCs as a value-added service to participants to recognize their learning achievements, which is expected to take place by December this year.

“Partnering with Affinidi allows us to reinforce our capabilities and experience to offer our community of over 12,000 learners and industry experts with a one-stop hub for all their training certificates,” said Amor Maclang, convenor of Digital Pilipinas and World Fintech Festival-Philippines.

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