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The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) contain an Important Target for Legal Identity

SDG 16.9 states that "By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration."

This Sustainable Development Goal target represents a cornerstone of all identity developments and will influence government priorities but it is very vague. It does not define legal identity nor does it prescribe how to operationally achieve this objective. In one line this goal creates an implicit linkage between legal identity for all and birth registration.

This year ID4Africa Forum will explore this topic throughout many of its sessions in order to create consensus of best practices and establish a pragmatic guide of what is required to achieve SDG 16.9. This topic is explored most prominently in Workshop 1.
Spotlight on Workshop 1:
Linking Foundational Identity Registers

In our series of spotlights on different sessions, this week we will focus on Workshop 1 (Day 2, 8:25-10:00).

This workshop addresses two important issues in the context of SDG 16.9:
  1. Why civil and national identity registers and systems need to be linked as a matter of policy?
  2. What are the practical options for achieving this objective? These options may include institutional arrangements that unify the organizations responsible for the different foundational registers or using technology to ensure the interoperability of these registers, including identity resolution to establish the correspondence, as well as digitization of paper records.

The impressive lineup consists of:

Raj Gautum Mitra
Demographic and Social Stastics
United Nations Economic Mission for Africa (UNECA)

The workshop chair Raj Mitra will focus on the why of linkage among civil and national identity registers and will establish the overall framework as to policy considerations in the wake of SDG 16.9

Nadya Kassam
Child Protection Specialist

Nadya Kassam will build on what Raj outlined to emphasize the criticality of birth registration as the entry point to any legal identity system. She will give an overview of progress in that regard.

Judy Obitre-Gama
Executive Director
National Identification Authority of Uganda

Judy Obitre-Gama will discuss how Uganda intends to achieve the linkage through an institutional arrangement that unifies the various organizations without subsuming one into the other.

Edward Duffus
Digital Birth Registration Project Manager
Plan International

Edward Duffus will share the recommendations that they have arrived at through a multiagency study that focused on CRVS digitization and linkage to national ID. Paper records continue to be an important patrimony in many African countries, Edward will guide the audience as to how to leverage these records by computerizing them and using them as an entry point into the legal identity ecosystem.

Tarvinder Sembhi
Senior Vice President
WCC Smart Search and Match

Tavinder Sembhi will discuss technology innovations in smart matching in order to enable the textual linking of different identity registers. These could be the outcome of digitization of paper records or the result of independent initiatives that generate civil registers, national population registers, and National ID registers which have no apparent way to link them except through advanced entity or identity resolution techniques.

Directly following the presentations, audience members will be able to engage directly in a moderated discussion with the presenters.

Workshop Objectives:
  1. Allow participants to gain an understanding of practical strategies for integrating civil registration with national identity management systems.
  2. Help participants understand the impact of Sustainable Development Goal 16.9 on their identity practices going forward.

To attend this highly educational workshop please register today!


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Details about the 2nd Annual Government Forum on Electronic Identity in Africa can be found on our website at, or contact Veronica at or +86-18621610933.

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