Conceived as a digital public good as part of IIIT Bangalore’s efforts in promoting open source applications for societal development, MOSIP’s potential impact could not be more relevant or apparent.
In its article ‘Questions of identity Covid-19 spurs national plans to give citizens digital identities’ published on 7 December 2020, The Economist describes the pivotal and integrating role MOSIP will play in realizing these efforts.
Picture Courtesy: World Bank Flickr
The article sets the context that globally, nearly 1 bn people lack a formal proof of identity that denies them access to essential Government-provided services. More than 80% of this population reside in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia. Covid-19 has further highlighted the critical need for digital identity to help vulnerable people in ways they most need it. Not knowing who they are or the services they require has made outreach efforts Herculean and nearly insurmountable. For instance, maintaining a critical vaccination registry to track those who have been immunized against Covid-19 or not, becomes nearly impossible when people lack digital identities. In such a situation, an fID system can be seen as imperative and integral to authenticate digital certificates as proof of vaccination.
In the article, Prof S Rajagopalan who leads MOSIP clearly articulates MOSIP’s two key tenets -- as a standard-bearer for ‘good’ digital identity designed with a ‘citizen approach that ensures safety and accountability, and being open source, which allows all its protocols to be seen, developed and strengthened by collective effort.
The article goes on to elaborate MOSIP’s facets that make it an unparalleled choice for countries looking to set up their fID systems with perspectives from one of MOSIP’s funders, Omidyar Network to boot. From interoperability that enables cross-border operation, modularity for customization, and vendor lock-in prevention among others, the benefits of MOSIP are wide ranging from a country perspective. Morocco, The Republic of Guinea, and The Republic of Philippines believe in the goodness of MOSIP and are today, on the cusp of rolling out pilots of their national ID schemes leveraging MOSIP, with other countries in tow. With the Covid-19 induced sense of urgency, other countries are evincing greater interest in adopting a solution such as MOSIP to enable and accelerate their transformational digital identity journeys. Read the article here.