On October 17, 2023, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Secure Identity Alliance (SIA) announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding in regard to digital identity. It is intended to help developing countries “implement, strengthen and/or expand” their digital identity systems, by promoting open standards and interoperability.
UNDP Associate Administrator Haoliang Xu believes that “digital legal identity is essential to realizing human rights.” According to him, it grants “everyone access to online systems, so that no one is left behind in regard to ID.”
“Interoperability not only levels the playing field but also fosters cost-effective solutions for the betterment of governments and society alike,” adds Didier Trutt, head of the SIA.
The UNDP’s Digital Governance Innovation and Transformation (DGIT) program should offer these digital identity solutions to member States. It recently added new features to it, such as tools for legal matters, health and banking needs.
“The system is flexible, so that it can be tailored to meet each country’s needs. And as an open-source system provided with training, it is cost-effective, allowing governments to allocate scarce resources to other priorities,” conclude the UNDP and SIA.