ID4Africa Expands its Board of Advisors: Adds Representation from UNHCR and UNSD
New York, April 3rd, 2019 – ID4Africa, the ID-4-All Movement, announced today the addition of Andrew Hopkins, Chief of Identity Management and Registration Section of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and Srdjan Mrkic, Chief, Demographic Statistics Section of the UN Statistics Statistics Division (UNSD), as the newest members of the ID4Africa Advisory Board. Both representatives complement the existing strengths of a well-established Board which includes Robert Palacios, Global Thematic Group Leader at the World Bank; Niall McCann, Lead Electoral Advisor at the UNDP; Cornelius Williams, Associate Director and Global Chief of Child Protection at UNICEF; Alan Gelb, Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development; and Samatar Omar Elmi, Senior ICT Officer at the African Development Bank.
The Executive Chairman of ID4Africa, Dr. Joseph J. Atick, stated “We enthusiastically welcome both Andrew Hopkins and Srdjan Mrkic as representatives of UNHCR and UNSD respectively, to our Board. They not only bring deep experience and complimentary perspectives as individuals, but also come from institutions that are important identity stakeholders playing front line roles in identity management in the world today. The UNHCR is a pioneer, among the UN agencies, in exemplifying responsible global identity management that ensures that no one within the population of displaced individuals is left behind. They operate identity programs in the harshest environments. While the UNSD has a long history of thought leadership, guiding and supporting the development of CRVS systems as the basis for foundational identity, and demographic data for planning and development.”
Dr. Atick further added “Today’s announcement is a significant event since together with our existing UN members, we now have participation on our Board from four of the leading UN agencies that are considered the identity stakeholders, including the three co-Chairs of the UN’s Legal Identity Working Group - UNICEF, UNDP and UNSD. Their involvement brings significant dynamic to the ID4Africa Movement as it continues to place greater emphasis on the importance of getting legal identity right from the start, and ensuring that no one is left outside the legal identity ecosystem, including displaced individuals.”
Mr. Andrew Hopkins brings to the Board over 30 years of extensive experience in managing refugee programs globally. He has led global registration and identity management efforts which ensure refugee identities are anchored and maintained within a system of inclusivity. He has also deployed registration documentation and biometrics systems in field operations as part of the agency’s global population management efforts, and has designed and managed large-scale group resettlement projects particularly in Africa and in Asia.
Mr. Srdjan Mrkic is a lawyer and a career statistician at national and international level for the past 30 years. In his role at the UNSD, he discharges the responsibilities of the technical director of two international programmes – on population and housing censuses and on civil registration and vital statistics systems. Mr. Mrkic leads the work on developing international standards for population and housing censuses, civil registration, vital statistics and identity management.
ID4Africa is an ID-4-All Movement that accompanies African nations on their journey to develop robust and responsible ID ecosystems around digital identity in the service of development and humanitarian action. It is a tripartite with representation from African governments, international agencies and industry. The aim is to share experience and establish real world best practices that set the correct expectations for what is involved in launching and sustaining successful identity programs. The Movement holds an Annual Meeting in a different African country each year. The Movement was founded in 2014 and held its inaugural meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in 2015, followed by Annual Meetings in Kigali, Rwanda; Windhoek, Namibia; and most recently in Abuja, Nigeria. It will be holding its 2019 Annual Meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, June 18-20, 2019.
ABOUT THE UNHCR
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is a global organization, headquartered in Geneva, that is dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. Together with partners and communities, the UNHCR works to ensure that every person has the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another country. They also strive to secure lasting solutions.
ABOUT THE UNSD
The United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) is committed to the advancement of the global statistical system. The organization compiles and disseminates global statistical information, develop standards and norms for statistical activities, and support countries' efforts to strengthen their national statistical systems. The UNSD facilitates the coordination of international statistical activities and supports the functioning of the United Nations Statistical Commission as the apex entity of the global statistical system.