The World Bank’s Digital IDs for Development program aims at supporting the larger ID4D agenda, leveraging digital identities (IDs) as part of a unified system to better deliver services and benefits to people, especially the poor and the disadvantaged. This is aligned with Sustainable Development Goal 16.9 (“By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration”). The World Bank envisions the scope of its Digital IDs for Development program as follows:
- Finance digital ID initiatives in identified countries to support the delivery of sector-specific programs—including financial services, social protection, and healthcare—in ways that conform to an overall standards-based architecture;
- Establish policies to secure personal data and ensure data privacy and promote the use of open and interoperable technology; and
- Catalyze a global network of digital ID experts to assist countries and help them build capacity in designing, deploying, monitoring, and maintaining digital ID systems.
Disparate initiatives and siloed investments in Digital ID systems are likely to be wasteful and duplicative, detracting from the far-reaching public and private sector implications of universal Digital IDs. Donor funding and international coordination is thus critical to ensure inclusive oversight and concerted global action.
The Government of France has been supporting the emergence of this global agenda and providing funding for the development of a coherent approach/strategy and implementation toolkit.
Given the importance of this topic, the 2016 World Development report (WDR16) includes a Spotlight on Digital Identity, which has been developed in collaboration with the various practices participating in the ID4D agenda. This section in WDR16 focuses on critical aspects, such as benefits to developing countries and implementation arrangements for Digital IDs programs.