Digital Identity: An Analysis for the Humanitarian Sector

Being able to prove one’s identity is critical in modern society. This is no less the case for people being served by humanitarian organizations. Indeed, those without official identification are among the most vulnerable. While previous solutions to this challenge have relied on traditional means, these are not ideal, especially in the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Recent technological developments have seen increased interest in the deployment of digital identities. Through a series of expert interviews and case studies, this report delves into the humanitarian contexts where organizations are already piloting digital ID solutions, looking at technical, ethical, and sustainability considerations. It shows that digital ID has great potential for use in the humanitarian sector, with benefits to organizations and affected communities alike, while also outlining its limitations and the challenges to overcome.

This research was commissioned by the IFRC and carried out by the Oxford Centre for Technology and Development. It was supported by the Dignified Identities in Cash Assistance (DIGID) project consortium comprised of the Norwegian Red Cross, Norwegian Refugee Council, Norwegian Church Aid, and Save the Children Norway. The DIGID consortium also held a webinar featuring one of the authors introducing this report, as part of Data and Digital Week in April 2021.

Are you sure you want to delete this "resource"?
This item will be deleted immediately. You cannot undo this action.

Related Resources

Report, Research
25 Mar 2022
Over the past decade, Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) has been increasingly recognized as a dignifying modality of assistance when seeking to alleviate the suffering of the most vulnerable, offering choices to affected communities and being more co...
Tags: Report, Research, Cash, Migration
Research
06 Jun 2018
Vulnerability reduction and resilience building of communities are central concepts in recent policy debates. Although there are fundamental linkages, and complementarities exist between the two concepts, recent policy and programming has focused mor...
Tags: Research, Resilience
Research
23 Nov 2015
Leadership makes a tremendous difference in disaster preparation, response, and recovery. In times of extreme adversity, strong and effective leadership can prevent a disaster altogether or mitigate its impact, whereas weak and ineffective leadership...
Tags: Research, Resilience