NEW YORK, Sept. 14, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The ID2020 Alliance announced its first two pilot projects and welcomed new Alliance members – iRespond, Kiva, Simprints, FHI360 and IDEO.org – at its annual Summit, which took place today in New York. This year's gathering focused on discussing and defining "good" digital identity, including both technical and non-technical requirements that prioritize user control and individual privacy. The Summit's 300 participants and speakers included technology innovators, policy leaders, humanitarians and development specialists.
"The conversation this year shifted from the potential to the practical. Today's Summit explored what is required for digital identity to be 'good' and implemented at scale," said Dakota Gruener, Executive Director of ID2020. "We are thrilled to be expanding and strengthening the Alliance's partnerships with innovative organizations – both with new Alliance members and through our pilot programs – as we focus on developing and testing ethical digital identity solutions."
The event was sponsored by the UN Office of Information Communications Technology (OICT), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Danish Mission to the United Nations.
One of the two ID2020-supported pilot projects announced today will be led by Alliance partner iRespond and will be conducted in close partnership with the International Rescue Committee (IRC). The pilot will offer blockchain-based digital identification, linked to individual users through iris recognition, for refugees accessing the IRC's services in the Mae La Camp in Thailand. Initially, these digital identities will enable the recipients to access improved, consistent healthcare within the camp through an accurate and secure electronic medical record. In the future, the same system may electronically document both educational attainment and professional skills to aid with employment opportunities.
"At iRespond we are driven by a desire to use technology to enhance well-being for the least well off. We are excited by the possibility for this project to provide access to improved healthcare and livelihoods for vulnerable individuals," said Larry Dohrs, Vice President, Asia-Pacific, iRespond.
Darren Hertz, Country Director, IRC Thailand noted, "The IRC Thailand really appreciates the opportunity to partner with ID2020 and iRespond on this innovative project. We're keenly aware of and awaiting the improvements this will create in the quality of health care services we provide to refugee populations. But equally exciting is the means by which individual medical records, diplomas and certificates can be confidential, safe and accessible for displaced populations caught in a world of uncertainty. We believe this offers real opportunity for better futures."
The second pilot project will be led by Everest working in close partnership with The Indonesian National Team for the Acceleration of Poverty Reduction (TNP2K) in the office of the Vice President of the Government of Indonesia. The pilot will facilitate the transfer of liquid propane gas (LPG) subsidies by delivering them to a biometrically validated digital wallet over a transparent and low cost blockchain. The goal of the pilot is to modernize delivery, reduce financial leakage, and enable banking services through financial inclusion. Addressing the current problems of delivery inefficiencies and lack of transparency will provide economically disadvantaged individuals greater access to energy subsidies.
Everest CEO Bob Reid said, "By facilitating the transfer of LPG subsidies using secure and permissioned blockchain-based biometric identity with a digital wallet and scalable transactions, Everest and the government of Indonesia have the opportunity to enable banking services with enhanced financial inclusion for those who need it most."
Hilman Palaon, Financial Inclusion and Government to Person (G2P) Payment Specialist at NP2K added, "The results of the Everest pilot are expected to provide new potential solutions, including insights on how to transform the implementation of [the LPG subsidy] program in the future."
ID2020 is excited to welcome its new partners: iRespond, Kiva, Simprints, FHI360 and IDEO.org. Shauna Carey, Managing Director of IDEO.org, noted:
"At IDEO.org, we believe that technology – when designed in service of human needs – has immense potential to transform the lives of people in marginalized communities around the world. When it comes to something as fundamental as the ability to prove one's own identity, keeping the individual at the center of the design process is especially imperative."
About the ID2020 Alliance The ID2020 Alliance is an innovative public-private partnership committed to improving lives through digital identity. The Alliance brings together multinational institutions, nonprofits, philanthropy, business, and governments to set the technical standards for a safe, secure, and interoperable digital identity that is owned and controlled by the user. It funds high-impact pilot projects that bring digital identity to vulnerable populations, and uses the data generated to find scalable solutions and inform public policy. Partners include Accenture, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Hyperledger, iRespond, Kiva, Mercy Corps, Microsoft, and United Nations International Computing Centre.