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Digital Identity for Inclusive Development

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) recently hosted the Global Innovation Week in Washington DC. The Global Innovation Week aims to promote the most promising innovations that are ready for scale, match investors with potential solutions and identify areas for enhanced coordination and collaboration across broad partners. The event kicked off with an Evidence and Innovation Day on September 28, which focused on the nexus between evidence and innovation. The second day was a Scale and Impact Summit devoted to thought leadership featuring visionary keynotes and action-provoking panel discussions around themes of scale to impact in disaster and humanitarian assistance, global health resiliency, off-grid energy, and agricultural investment and production.

A workshop titled “Digital Identity for Inclusive Development” was hosted on September 29, featuring action-provoking discussions on identity technology, digital infrastructure and value of blockchain-backed ID systems. Many facilitators, including Craig Jolley, the data scientist at USAID led case-based and interactive discussions among a group of people in a “Blockchain ID Value Chain” scenario. The discussions were around several key guiding questions:

  1. Who has access to an individual’s information on blockchain-backed ID system?

  2. How can the blockchain-backed ID system increase an individual’s benefits?

  3. What are the benefits, challenges and risks associated with a blockchain-backed ID system?

  4. What insititutions are involved in the blockchain ID value chain?

  5. Is a blockchain-backed ID system financially sustainable?

As the world is moving towards digitization, digital ID rooted on blockchain is a critical component to successful delivery of digital services, that in recent years has become a focus of international attention. Up till now, there are several applications of blockchain-backed digital identity systems that emerged in the humanitarian sector, such as the platform that allows users to build an identity through mobile money transactions with more transparency and efficiency. All of these efforts of utilizing blockchain technology in humanitarian sector can facilitate the process of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As a global fintech and blockchain network, FinTech4Good aims to catalyze fintech innovations for a global sustainable transformation. Our Blockchain4SDGs Alliance brings together institutions and global leaders to provide thought leadership and investment advisory to scale up blockchain solutions.

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