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IIIT-B and Norad announce strategic partnership on MOSIP to accelerate SDGs through digital identity

17 September 2020 | Bengaluru and Oslo

The partnership is a major step towards realising a robust, global public good for digital identity

Bengaluru and Oslo, 17 September 2020: IIIT-B is delighted to announce a strategic partnership with Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) on MOSIP to accelerate achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through digital identity. These SDGs are a blueprint for a better, inclusive, and more sustainable future. The Norad-MOSIP partnership will help advance common goals to build a broad, multi-stakeholder alliance to develop and advocate digital identity as a global public good.

The societal  role of information technology is a critical area of focus for International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore (IIIT-B). As part of its efforts in promoting open source applications for societal development, IIIT-B has undertaken a global effort to create and promote a Modular Open Source Identification Platform (MOSIP) as a digital public good.

Built on a bedrock of principles such as scalability, security, and privacy, MOSIP with its modular architecture, customizability and configurability offers countries the flexibility to build digital foundational ID systems based on their specific needs. The platform has been developed in Open Source using  open standards and is available in GitHub. Open Source ensures that MOSIP prevents vendor lock-in and allows users to build solutions on top of the platform.

The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) is the specialized development cooperation agency under the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Norad manages Norwegian official development assistance and advises on Norwegian development policy. Norad has, for a number of years, been funding and leading open source projects. Through participation in the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation and the recent publication of the government White Paper on Digital Transformation and Development Policy, Norway has taken a leading role in the global Alliance for Digital Public Goods.

Norad’s support bolsters MOSIP’s efforts to enhance the platform to meet the needs of countries adopting MOSIP and help low- and middle-income countries to adopt modern interoperable digital ID systems. It will also enable MOSIP to progress its endeavours in expanding its contributor and commercial ecosystems.

Speaking on the newly-forged partnership, Prof. S. Sadagopan, Director, IIIT-B said, “Norad brings its deep experience in enabling technology solutions to address complex problems in healthcare, education, and poverty alleviation. DHIS2, the Open Source health information system adopted by over 70 countries and supported by Norad, is a shining example of their vision. We look forward to a long and impactful association with Norad.”

Upon signing of the new partnership, Norad’s Director General, Bård Vegar Solhjell, said, “Norway is committed to supporting and promoting digital public goods of high relevance for low- and middle-income countries in order to reach the Sustainable Development Goals. MOSIP represents a great example of how openly licensed solutions developed in accordance with international best practices can provide solutions tailored to local needs in a transparent and cost-efficient way. Norad looks forward to the partnership.”

MOSIP is now helping the governments of the Kingdom of  Morocco, and the Republic of the Philippines adopt modern digital ID systems based on Open Source and Open Standards. The Republic of Guinea and the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia are embarking on pilots based on the platform. 

MOSIP is supported by strategic alliances with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Omidyar Network, and Tata Trusts. The partnership with Norad will go a long way in accelerating the transformational digital identity journeys of countries and helping meet SDGs. 

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