A tale of two MOSIP implementations: Philippines and Morocco
The Philippines and Morocco each decided to build identity systems on top of the Modular Open Source Identity Platform (MOSIP) despite some marked differences in their circumstances.
Differences in geography, government and socio-economic circumstances led the two countries to implement their digital identity systems in different ways, MOSIP Chief Dissemination Officer Nagarajan Santhanam explained to Biometric Update during an extensive interview.
The technology is more or less the same for each country implementing MOSIP, he says. The people and process, however, can be very different from one to another.
“This is true for any platform or any product,” Santhanam points out. “The technology aspect is the same, but the country takes it and tailor-makes it for their country. So that’s where the process and the people aspect really comes into play.”
Morocco has roughly 38 million residents, mostly concentrated in urban areas. It chose to run two identity projects in parallel. One is a MOSIP-based civil registration system, with Idemia as its biometric solutions provider.
The country also leveraged its eID database and mandatory eID cards to deploy a secure digital ID using iDAKTO‘s IDCluster platform. It has since been implemented for myriad uses, including in its court system, and is being integrated for delivery of health services.
Santhanam says MOSIP authentication outputs will be adopted in a variety of use cases.
The Philippines has a population of 110 million spread across thousands of islands, making centralized registration processes impossible. The countries also differ in terms of digital infrastructure and government enough to warrant divergent approaches to implementing national civil registry or digital ID.
The Philippines decided on a goal of registering 90 percent of its eligible population before advancing to service delivery. Biometric Ecosystem Head Sanjith Sundaram notes that the Philippines began by floating separate requests for proposals for devices and an integrator to help set up the system. The RFP for biometric enrollment kits was won by Thales, which supplied around 7,800 kits.
The country reached 78 million registrations earlier this year. “That’s why you see Philippines becoming very active with use cases now,” Santhanam observes.
Like the Philippines, Morocco focused initially on registration, but began launching services when it reached 10 million enrolled.
“We can’t say which is right, which is wrong, because that depends upon the nation, and it’s the choice of the nation and their strategy for their people,” Santhanam says.
Eleven countries are at various stages of adopting MOSIP to build their national civil registry or digital ID, and the organization is in talks with several more in Africa and Latin America.
This post was updated at 2:21pm Eastern on August 9, 2023 to clarify the distinction between Morocco’s civil registry and eID systems.