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ORF issues policy brief on digital public infrastructure for G20 members

ORF issues policy brief on digital public infrastructure for G20 members

Observer Research Foundation (ORF), a global think tank based in Delhi, India, has published a new policy brief highlighting the importance of interoperability of digital public infrastructure (DPI) systems.

The new report provides policy recommendations for members of the G20, outlining examples such as the India Stack, which includes the country’s unique identifier Aadhaar, and the Brazilian digital health platform Open Health Brazil. It also analyzed the analyzing influence of regulations such as the European Union’s Digital Markets Act in regulating digital platforms.

Over the past years, the world has seen a rise in digital services, including digital identity, payments and a multitude of government services. One of the most interesting digital public infrastructure (DPI) projects has come from India which has been pitching its digital products to other countries during G20 meetings after assuming the organization’s presidency in December.

ORF believes that the platforms offering digital services are unable to scale their businesses and often end up locking up users within their systems. This means that the market cannot ensure “fair economic outcomes.”

According to the brief, interoperability is the key to solving such issues with ORF summarizing its recommendations for achieving interoperability in three points:

The first one is solving the gatekeepers. One of the main challenges to achieving interoperability is gatekeepers that block alternative solutions for public infrastructure.

The second is eliminating obstacles for smaller competitors: Achieving interoperability will mean that smaller competitors will be able to provide their services, nurturing inclusivity without necessarily breaking up established monopolies.

The third one is different national regulations. Regulation results in fragmented markets as well as higher compliance costs for players. If G20 countries agree to interoperability, this could make services related to digital public infrastructure functional across jurisdictions, reducing costs both for digital gatekeeper platforms and their smaller competitors.

The brief was authored by Pencho Kuzev, policy advisor at the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation in Germany, and Ian Hall, professor at Griffith University in Australia.

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