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A foundational ID system to give identity to millions across the globe

One billion people across the globe lack an official proof of identity, essential for financial and social inclusion. One in two women in low-income countries does not have an ID, limiting their access to critical services and participation in political and economic life.

These are the findings of a 2018 World Bank Identification for Development Initiative report that highlights global identification challenges.

A country’s identification system is the backbone for effective delivery of public and private services.

Governments across the world are exploring ways to develop a multipurpose foundational ID system in which individuals receive a unique identifier that they can use for identity assertion and verification.

This is where the Modular Open Source Identity Platform (MOSIP) comes in.

The MOSIP story began when the World Bank approached the International Institute of Information Technology-Bangalore (IIIT-B), a technology university in Bengaluru, for an open-source foundational identity system on which national IDs could be built.

MOSIP is a modular and open-source identity platform that helps user organisations such as governments implement a digital, foundational ID in a cost-effective manner.

So far, more than 71.7 million people are registered on MOSIP-based systems across the globe.

The foundational ID is intended to be used for access to a wide variety of government and private services.

As countries consider how best to build foundational ID systems, they face several policy and technological choices.

Once these choices are made, countries often grapple with some common implementation challenges. These include ensuring uniqueness in the system, interoperability, privacy by design, reaching scale, avoiding vendor lock-in and maintaining affordability.

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