UNDP and SIA joining forces for digital ID system development
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Secure Identity Alliance (SIA) announced they have signed a memo to unite in supporting developing nations as they implement digital identity systems.
The partnership follows best practices in public procurement by promoting open standards and interoperability, the groups say, which prevents systems from being tied to a single vendor. This partnered commitment will help bring legal identity to all, which is outlined as a basic human right in Article 6 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.
Digital legal identity is also essential to achieving several Sustainable Development Goals, says UNDP Associate Administrator Haoliang Xu.
He notes that “over the past few decades, many Member States haven’t been able to leverage the full potential of technology,” however, “with this project, UNDP and SIA highlight the significance of open standards in achieving sustainable and cost-effective digital technologies around legal identity systems.”
The Digital Governance Innovation and Transformation Programme (DGIT) helps countries sustainably develop open source, cost effective digital systems that can help individuals access government services, voting, and digital IDs. It does this by providing support from the initial assessment of a system to implementation.
Aside from giving the population a way to register life events like births and deaths, DGIT is adding new features to the systems that can help individuals manage legal cases and banking. The program also provides training support.
The mutual understanding falls in line with SIA’s initiative launched in 2019 to develop a series of APIs (OSIA) to make identity management system components interoperable through open standards. The UNDP also just launched its governance framework for digital ID.
“Interoperability not only levels the playing field but also fosters cost-effective solutions for the betterment of governments and society alike,” says SIA Chairman Didier Trutt. “Through this new collaboration with UNDP, we hope to contribute to a future of inclusive access, boundless innovation, and brighter prospects for societies worldwide.”