Responsible Finance Forum

Guidelines for ID4D Diagnostics

06 March 2018

Robust, inclusive and responsible identification systems are crucial tools for achieving sustainable development, including the World Bank Group’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity. In addition to being the objective of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 16. — to “provide legal identity for all, including birth registration” by 2030—identification is a key enabler  or individuals to exercise their rights and for progress towards many other SDG targets, such as financial and economic inclusion, social protection, gender equality, and safe and orderly migration. For  governments, identification systems play an important role in enhancing the capacity to target essential  services such as cash transfers and subsidies, engage in long-term planning, provide security, and  respond rapidly to emergencies. Digital identification systems in particular can strengthen how the public and private sectors deliver services and create a foundation on which to build new systems, services, and markets, including e-government, cashless payments, and the digital economy. In order to meet their potential for facilitating sustainable development and improving public sector efficiency, however, identification systems must have high levels of coverage and inclusion within the population, be robust to fraud and error, and operate within a governance framework that protects personal data, promotes trust and accountability, and facilitates end-user control. In addition, many of the benefits of modern identification systems—including reduced transaction costs and facilitating new channels of service delivery—require some level of integration or mutual recognition between disparate elements of the identity ecosystem. In today’s digital age and in the context of regional and global integration and migration, there is an increasing need for digital identification to be mutually-recognized and portable across countries, which can be facilitated through trust and standards. Building robust, inclusive, and responsible identification systems is a multifaceted challenge that requires resources, technical capacity, and sustained leadership and coordination. In order to support countries in this endeavor, the World Bank Group (WBG) launched its cross-sectoral Identification for Development (ID4D) initiative in 2014. The three pillars of ID4D are “Thought Leadership,” “Global Convening and Platforms,” and “Country and Regional Engagement.” ID4D is guided by senior leadership and a working group with members from multiple Global Practices and Departments. ID4D is also supported by a High Level Advisory Council comprised of global leaders in the identification space. ID4D Country and regional engagement frequently begins with a diagnostic exercise—previously called an “Identity Management Systems Analysis (IMSA)”—of existing and planned identification systems. The ID4D Diagnostic methodology was developed in collaboration with governments and development partners, and provides a holistic approach to a country’s identity ecosystem, including institutions, technology, laws, policies, and practices related to identification. It is guided by the ten Principles on Identification for Sustainable Development, which offer a framework for the realization of robust, inclusive, and responsible digital identification systems and have now been endorsed by more than 20 international organizations, development partners, and private sector associations. At the time of publishing, ID4D Diagnostics have been conducted in over 30 countries.

Originally published on The World Bank’s website.

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