Developing Digital Identities for Stateless Refugees
Imagine a family fleeing a conflict and looking for a chance to start a new life in another country. Once the administrative process is over…
The father tries to get a job to support his family. But he cannot, because he cannot prove neither his professional qualifications nor his previous working experiences.
His wife got very sick during the long journey and needs to go to the hospital. But she cannot, because she can neither prove her status in the country, nor show her previous medical history.
His daughter left high school before graduating and wants to continue studying. But she cannot, because she cannot prove which material she has already mastered.
Potential employers require ID. Schools require ID. Healthcare providers require ID. Law enforcement requires ID. All the opportunities are out there, but they can be accessed only by those with Identity.
Identity matters. At its core, this project is about making ‘the Invisible’ visible, through the creation of the Digital Identity for the refugees. With the support of iRespond, we have a pilot project ready to go, which would give verifiable digital identity to 100,000 refugees in 9 camps in South East Asia (Thailand / Myanmar border). Later, we plan to scale up to refugee camps in Greece, Jordan and Lebanon.
Making the ‘Invisibles’ visible
By establishing verifiable identities for individual refugees, the Invisibles project will…
- Give control of identity to the individual to assert verifiable claims in a way that is secure and private.
- Provide security through encryption, paired with a decentralized data storage system (i.e. distributed ledger technology or block chain)
- Establish an open, transparent and globally diverse governance system to promote scalability, stability, and redundancy.
The technology needed to address key parts of this problem already exists. Evernym is a distributed ledger technology built using a Blockchain called Sovrin, which is build especially for the purpose of establishing identity. Its features satisfy three above-mentioned criteria. Most importantly, this technology has been proven in a project done by NGO iRespond, for creating digital medical records in isolated communities that lack infrastructure.
Two Fundamental Legal Shifts Will Occur
As the mechanism for creating and maintaining a functional digital identity is developed and deployed, two fundamental legal shifts will occur. First, a strong and portable digital identity will help create a new rule of law regulating Digital Identities within private international law. This will give individuals full ownership and control over their identity attributes. Second, the project will connect financial technologies with trusted Digital Identities in order to enable marginalized communities to thrive and still be accountable.
Digital Identity today is entirely ‘siloed’. The way we prove who we are’ has to be updated. The Invisibles project is the first step to ultimately empower everyone to establish permanent ownership and control of their individual identity.” Ultimately, we want to set International standards / legal framework, for which we will be partnering with IEEE, ISO and ANSI.
After their military service is over, veterans go back home. What they do next is look for the next work. Military skill sets often don’t transfer in obvious ways to those required by civilian jobs. There are veterans who possess relevant training and experience in working with foreign communities and displaced populations, operating in multicultural and often hostile arenas. Renowned anthropologist Kevin Avruch credits the military’s edge in communication and security to a shared culture across modern-day military coalitions.
The veterans’ connection, experience, and the opportunity to employ some of these niche skill sets makes them an ideal candidate for field work with refugee populations, whether as case workers, moderators, interviewers, or collectors of bio-metric data.
How you can help
We would like to ask your help to cover expenses below for our pilot project.
- Preparation: Training, Assessment, and data collection[$25,000]
- Design: create first versions of tools and processes [$30,000]
- Pretest and Pilot project in Greece or Lebanon: Creation, Authentication, Usage, and Protection of DID. [$300,000]
- Pilot evaluation [$30,000]
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*After the pilot in South-East Asia, we would like to scale up to other locations in Greece, Jordan and Lebanon and develop a toolbox that will facilitate creation of digital identity for any displaced population.