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National digital identity authorities share real-world governance and service gains 

Lessons from the Philippines, India, Tunisia, and Brazil at ID4Africa
National digital identity authorities share real-world governance and service gains 

In a session at the recent ID4Africa 2024 AGM, representatives from various corners of the globe converged to discuss the transformative power of digital identity systems. The panel discussion delved into practical applications and impacts, showcasing examples from the Philippines, India, Tunisia, and Brazil.

Philippines: Bridging gaps with inclusive solutions

According to Emily Pagador, assistant national statistician at the Philippine Statistics Authority, the Philippine identification system (PhilSys) targets marginalized communities, which is a significant factor in its journey. The Philippine identification system has a registration rate of over 94 percent of the target population, according to Pagador.

By leveraging data privacy laws and tokenization techniques, the Philippines’ goal is to ensure secure storage and management of citizen data within its system. The implementation of backend tokens and adherence to data privacy regulations have facilitated seamless integration with various service providers while safeguarding citizens’ privacy rights.

India: Aadhaar empowers billions

From India, Dr. Prabal Pratap, representing the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), says Aadhaar, India’s national digital identity project with over 1.4 billion residents enrolled, has become the bedrock of India’s digital infrastructure. Aadhaar plays a role in streamlining government services, facilitating financial inclusion, and combating identity fraud.

Aadhaar’s multifaceted approach, combining biometric authentication and virtual ID generation, has given citizens a unique identifier while ensuring compliance with data protection regulations, notes Pratap. The system has enabled seamless authentication across diverse sectors, in a bid to drive financial inclusion and efficiency in service delivery.

Tunisia: Integrating digital identity into governance

For Tunisia, Helmi Soltani, chief analyst, deputy director of IT equipment and applications at the general directorate of IT and application development in the Ministry of the Interior highlights the integration of digital identity into governance processes, enhancing service delivery, and fostering trust between citizens and the government.

Tunisia’s strides in digital identity was emphasized by the recent launch of the National Card System (NCS). Designed to bolster existing authentication mechanisms, NCS aims to enhance security and streamline identity verification processes. By harnessing advanced technologies, the session conveys the notion that Tunisia is poised to realize significant benefits in data protection and authentication, fostering trust and efficiency in digital transactions.

Brazil: Embracing diversity with digital solutions

In regards to Brazil, Eduardo Magalhães de Lacerda Filho emphasizes the country’s potential to revolutionize government-citizen interactions.

Filho lauded Brazil’s digital society, highlighting the success of the country’s electronic payment system, PIX, which boasts over 150 million users in a nation of 205 million. He underscored key initiatives such as the establishment of a digital government secretary and the integration of IT sectors within the federal government.

The session provided insights into how these nations overcame diverse challenges to implement digital identity systems that cater to the needs of their populations while driving efficiency and reducing transaction costs across various sectors.

The cornerstone of Brazil’s digital journey lies in consolidating services under a single sign-on platform, simplifying access to over 4,000 digitized public services. With a focus on interoperability, Brazil’s ConnectaGov platform has integrated over 51,500 systems, resulting in substantial cost savings exceeding $1 billion annually.

In the session, Eduardo outlines ongoing efforts to address challenges, notably the need for a unified and secure primary identification system and expanding digital solutions to the private sector. Brazil’s response includes the implementation of a new national identity program, aiming to enroll 80 percent of the population within three years.

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