NEW YORK, Sept. 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The ID2020 Alliance is hosting its annual summit today in New York, where it announced the launch of an ambitious digital identity program with the Government of Bangladesh and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, as well as new partners in government, academia, and humanitarian relief.
ID2020 unveiled its latest good digital identity program in partnership with the Access to Information (a2i) Program of the Government of Bangladesh, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) and Gavi. Recognizing the opportunity for immunization to serve as a platform for digital identity, this program leverages existing vaccination and birth registration operations to offer newborns a persistent and portable biometrically-linked digital identity.
"We are implementing a forward-looking approach to digital identity that gives individuals control over their own personal information, while still building off existing systems and programs," said Anir Chowdhury, policy advisor at a2i. "The Government of Bangladesh recognizes that the design of digital identity systems carries far-reaching implications for individuals' access to services and livelihoods, and we are eager to pioneer this approach."
To offer a persistent digital identity from birth, the program will explore and assess several cutting-edge infant biometric technologies, unlocking a potential global public good. "Eighty-nine percent of children and adolescents without identification live in countries supported by Gavi," said Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi. "We are enthusiastic about the potential impact of this program not just in Bangladesh, but as something we can replicate across Gavi-eligible countries, providing a viable route to closing the identity gap."
"Digital ID is being defined and implemented today, and we recognize the importance of swift action to close the identity gap," said Dakota Gruener, Executive Director of ID2020. "Now is the time for bold commitments to ensure that we respond both quickly and responsibly. We and our ID2020 Alliance partners, both present and future, are committed to rising to this challenge."
Since last year's summit, the ID2020 Alliance has welcomed several new Alliance partners, including the City of Austin, UC Berkeley's CITRIS Policy Lab and Care USA.
ID2020 is collaborating with the City of Austin on MyPass, a blockchain-enabled digital identity platform for people experiencing homelessness, along with the Austin Blockchain Collective, Dell Medical School and the National Innovation Service. The MyPass project is funded by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. "We're building with — not for — people living the experience of homelessness and the service providers who engage with them," said City of Austin Chief Innovation Officer Kerry O'Connor. "We're working to empower people to own their own data, and be the single source of their own truth to share as they see fit."
At last year's summit, ID2020 announced its two inaugural pilot programs run in partnership with iRespond and Everest. Both have made significant progress in the year since.
Larry Dohrs, iRespond's Vice President, Asia-Pacific, noted "Over 3,000 refugees being treated for chronic conditions by the International Rescue Committee in Thailand have seen significant improvements in continuity in care. We look forward to expanding the digital identity program to educational and livelihood services, and to all residents in the upcoming months."
Gautam Ramnath, Everest's Managing Director of Partnerships, said, "In the first phase, over five thousand households accessed critical energy subsidies, and a range of additional services, through secure and user-centric digital identities. Over 50% of Indonesia, or 140 million people, do not have access to smartphones. This pilot demonstrates the viability of innovative, mobile financial services that are scalable, sustainable, secure and simple enough to be managed without a smartphone."
NOTES TO EDITORS
About the ID2020 Alliance
The ID2020 Alliance is an innovative public-private partnership committed to improving lives through digital identity. ID2020 is coordinating funding for identity and channeling those funds toward high-impact projects, enabling diverse stakeholders -- UN agencies, NGOs, governments, and enterprises -- to pursue a coordinated approach that creates a pathway for efficient and responsible implementation at scale. Alliance partners include Accenture, CARE, City of Austin, FHI360, Gavi, Hyperledger, IDEO.org, iRespond, Kiva, Mercy Corps, Microsoft, The Rockefeller Foundation, Simprints, UC Berkeley's CITRIS Policy Lab, and the UN International Computing Centre.