IDENTITY IS FOUNDATIONAL FOR POLITICAL, ECONOMIC, AND SOCIAL OPPORTUNITY

A FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT

Article 6 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights stipulates that "Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law."  The Sustainable Development Goals (2015-2030) include target 16.9 which aims to "provide legal identity to all, including birth registration, by 2030."  Critically, this must include the >20M refugees worldwide.

NECESSARY TO ACCESS BASIC SERVICES

Individuals are required to show identification to access healthcare and education, vote, and access other social assistance programs. 

CRITICAL FOR ACCOUNTABILITY AND GOVERNANCE

Governments without an accurate system of identification struggle to provide well-coordinated social services, simply because the number of beneficiaries is unknown and precise targeting is impossible. And without clear registries, the risk of leakages and corruption are high - in Nigeria, enrollment of civil servants saved approximately $74M by eliminating "ghost workers" on payroll. 

A Gateway to economic opportunity

More than 2.5 billion adults do not have a bank account or use formal financial services, making it difficult to move out of poverty or weather a period of hardship. Connecting people with digitally-based financial tools and services  requires accessible, secure and verifiable ID systems. 

important for gender equality

Women with an official identity are empowered to play a greater role in household decisions and maintain financial independence. Furthermore, identification can be an important defense against child marriage, exploitation and trafficking.

A key enabler of global development

In addition to the intrinsic benefit of identity, it is a necessary prerequisite for achieving many of the other SDGs. International goals will be difficult to reach or measure without a way to identify beneficiaries.