Toward a Somali Identification System: ID4D Diagnostic

Published: 1/Jan/2016
Source: World Bank

Identification is necessary for sustainable development. It is an enabler for (among others) the right to vote, financial inclusion, gender equality and health services, and a key element in empowerment. Recognizing the opportunities presented by advances in digital and biometric technology, the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) requested an assessment and feasibility study regarding the potential for a national identification system(s) to underpin transparent voter lists for future elections and for sustainable development applications.

A study team comprised of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Terra Incognita (TI), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank (WB) carried out the assessment during the period from July to November 2016 in response to the FGS request and to support the FGS in considering options for identification systems and making strategic decisions regarding the development of a robust identity ecosystem in the country. The study team consulted multiple stakeholders and drew on local knowledge, as well as lessons from other countries, including India, Pakistan, Peru, and others. This joint approach to carrying out an assessment of identity management is a first within the global context.

Establishing a legal identification system—particularly one that is digital—could be a game changer for the FGS’s capacity to administer a variety of public programs and services (including election administration), for the growth of the Somali economy and banking sector, and for the delivery of humanitarian assistance and other support by the international community. However, the challenges in rolling out an inclusive, robust, and safe system are immense.

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Themes: Identity Documents, Birth Registration, ID Documents and Passports
Regions: Somalia
Year: 2016