Don’t expect miracles

by | May 7, 2021 | Change, ICT4D, Identity |

miracles

This is an important article to read about digital ID systems and technology in general.

The argument is that digital systems will make governments more efficient in identifying needs and allocating support. 

But digital identity systems will only make governments more efficient at what they are already doing. If a government is currently using its identity systems to discriminate against minorities and exclude them from power, then they will only become more efficient at that. 

A digital ID system cannot create values that don’t already exist in the society in which it is built and deployed. The digital will only intensify whatever momentum already exists in the analog.

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Now just to be clear, we can substitute the word government for company, organisation, NGO, or anyone else engaging in digital identity systems. And the important part of the quote is the second last sentence – A digital ID system cannot create values that don’t already exist in the society in which it is built and deployed. Therefore, if the government, organisation, NGO is already inclusive, welcoming, and truly is about leaving no one behind, then digital can help with that.

Going digital will not miraculously make you inclusive, efficient, or even innovative. It tends to highlight what you already are and believe in – the good, bad, and ugly.

Photo by Alistair MacRobert

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