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Digital ID project for undocumented indigenous Australians shows promise

Digital ID project for undocumented indigenous Australians shows promise

A digital identity wallet has been lauded for its potential to create positive impact on inclusion in Australia, ahead of a planned joint pilot this year. WUNA is a digital wallet developed by digital ID startup Hold Access, to enable indigenous Australians (First Nations Australians) in remote communities be able to carry, access and share their identity credentials on mobile devices.

The platform is meant to enable this category of Australians to access to different forms of opportunity and assistance which they have not had over the years, Hold Access Founder Jason Davis says in a case study published by Humanitech.

Davis explained the outcome of a project to validate the system, which was carried out through the Humanitech Lab accelerator and fronted by the Australian Red Cross.

The program was focused on establishing digital ID for school children for different purposes.

WUNA consists of a web-based application and a physical ID card. With it, users can share their digital ID, verified credentials and other online ID documentation such as their birth certificate, passport, driver’s license, employment history, academic certificates, and verified documents, among others.

This wallet, Davis says, has been positively welcomed by indigenous Australians in remote communities who have for many years suffered from digital exclusion by not fully having access to some of the new digital technologies that would enable them enjoy better social services.

Davis notes that current approaches to digital ID are not suitable to the very different lifestyles of many aboriginal Australians, but the innovation through WUNA is intended to plug some of those gaps.

“WUNA is a digitally adapted, modern-day identity message stick. Its strength is in offering users an opportunity for digital self-determination with identity and verified certification,” he says.

Hold Access says the system has been described by users as “unique, easy to use, and valuable in accessing their documents to apply for jobs and learning opportunities.”

Some indigenous students who used the platform confessed how easy it was for them to carry and share their credentials.

“It’s important to me that technology is built on a foundation of human rights. It’s been fantastic to use the Humanity First prototype with Humanitech and Red Cross to explore how we might actually do this,” says Davis.

The Hold Access digital wallet is part of four innovative tech projects benefiting from the support of the Australian Red Cross via the Humanitech Innovation Lab, to proffer solutions to some humanitarian problems across Australia.

The support is in the form of $100,000 Australian in grant funding, capacity building, and assistance for a pilot, reports Tech Business News.

The other projects such as the ‘digital human’ chatbot developed by social equity organization Maya Cares are all meant to promote inclusion and development among underserved communities.

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