Building Block: Identification and authentication
Maturity: BETA

Short Description: Enables unique identification and authentication of users, organizations and other entities.

Full Description: Attribute a unique foundational ID to users, organizations or any other entities with the primary task of letting an entity prove who it is. According to the World Bank, digital foundational identity is one that is ‘built in a top-down manner with the objective of bolstering national development by creating a general-purpose identification for use across sectors. It also allows for proper authentication using passwords, One-time password/pin (OTP), biometrics, digital tokens, etc.

Other Names: Identity management

Key Digital Functionalities:

  • Foundational IDs come with no specified purpose or attached entitlement but functionalities simply let an entity prove who it is
  • Captures only limited information about users, such as name, date of birth, address and gender
  • For a given set of credentials, fetches a corresponding ID if it exists in the registry
  • Uses different biometric methods to identify and authenticate users through means other than user photographs (eg fingerprints, iris scans, facial recognition) to ensure there are no duplicates or fakes, creating a highly trustworthy database
  • This ICT Building Blocks also uses a publicly available interface, or open API, which allows any licensed service provider to verify if users are who they claim to be
  • Used to enable services such as opening bank accounts, buying SIM cards, receiving entitlements from the government, signing forms electronically, investing in mutual funds and getting credit
  • Incorporates privacy into its design when the purpose of the authentication is not revealed if a service provider sends an authentication request.

Examples of use in different sectors:

  • All sectors: The use of a foundational ID is cross-sectoral. It can be used to verify user identity and enable any service that a user has access credentials for, such as a fertilizer subsidy or food voucher.
  • Health sector: 
    • Enterprise Master Patient Index

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