Id­entification Syst­ems Analysis: Country Assessment Botswana

Published: 1/Sep/2015
Source: World Bank

This report analyzes the Identity Management System of the Republic of Botswana with respect to 1) accessibility, 2) robustness, 3) integration and regulated access to data, and 4) legal frameworks and data protection, and documents the extent to which the legal and institutional framework and the human and physical infrastructures have facilitated the establishment, operationalization and management of identity management as a comprehensive system.

Botswana has a single foundational Identity Management System which is a primary tool for public administration and governance as well as facilitation of service delivery to the public. It creates one identity per person pursuant to the current legal framework which is used several times by the person at various institutions to facilitate the individual’s access to services including social safety net programs, claiming of rights and entitlements. The national identity card is used as a breeder document for obtaining other documents such as passports, driver’s licenses and voter registration cards.

The National Identity number used at age 16 is the same unique identification number (UID) issued upon registration of birth. This strategy ensures an identity life cycle from “Identity Establishment” to “End of Identity.”

“Identity Establishment” is accomplished on the basis of ‘Evidence of Identity’, such as timely birth registration, and ‛End of Identity’ is accomplished through death registration or emigration. In the case of a resumption of citizenship, identity will be reactivated.

The National Identity Management System is linked with other systems, such as the electoral system, the Social Benefit Registration System (SOBERS), government payroll, and the transport system. Similarly, through this link, the National Identity Management System is updated in real time when a death occurs. The status of the registered citizen is changed from ‘Live’ to ‘Deceased’ and subsequently all other systems for service ministries interfaced with the NIS receive the update as well.

Although Botswana is a vast country with low population density, the registration services are highly decentralized in the country. There is a network of 37 offices across the country in 12 districts and 25 subdistricts. It also operates 13 on-site registration offices at various hospitals across the country. Further, birth registration, birth certificates, and the first issuance of the national ID are all free. Late registration fees for births and deaths have been waived through subsidiary legislation.

The Botswana National Identity System is facilitated by legal reforms and reviews, risk management, rigorous re-engineering and re-design of business processes, an effective ID management cycle, continuous monitoring and evaluation, and data security and integrity management. It is envisaged that the ID-management system will in the future be linked to the immigration and citizenship system under the department of immigration and citizenship to progress it to a fully-fledged Population Register or People Hub.

Download from World Bank website here.

Themes: Identity Documents, Birth Registration, ID Documents and Passports
Regions: Botswana
Year: 2015