Currently, there are people around the world, including our ethnic communities in the Philippines that don’t have an identity yet, in terms of not having a birth certificate or any type of official government registration. Often, this lack of official identity extends to adulthood, creating complications with school enrollment, hospital records, insurance attainment, passport application and other civil registration scenarios such as applying for a driver’s license. On the other hand, in the current state of internet usage, an individual’s identity like name, address, and birth date are often stored in various databases and generated at different times when they sign-up with various web-based services. Some of the individual’s data changes over time (for example, residential addresses) and the change is not reflected across all essential registries.
If an individual doesn’t have any identity like in the case of ethnic communities, they will get minimal to no support from both private and public sectors, and for those who have, duplicate records exist in various databases and often, the said records are mostly out of date. Identity management is a critical component in service delivery for both private and public sectors and with NGOs.
The solution to this problem is to shift identity management from conventional record keeping (ageing databases included) to the digital identity systems. The concept of digital identity is not a new one. In fact, it’s more common than you think. For example, you have a Facebook account and you use that Facebook account to sign-up and login to other web-based services. In this scenario, Facebook shares some of your information to another provider, for you to successfully sign-up.
A lot of digital identity platforms are already available in the market, but most of them are using traditional databases and in a centralized manner that is still prone to fragmentation. With Blockchain, digital identities are the key in managing individual’s records. These records will progressively be updated overtime and be shared with several institutions such as banking, education and other non-profit organizations. Unlike traditional databases, the digital identities managed under Blockchain can reflect all updates across the distributed application that contains information ledger records of an individual’s identity information. This solves the aged-old problem of scattered, fragmented and duplicate database entries.
Blockchain technology stores data in a distributed, trusted and immutable structure. Digital identities under Blockchain can ensure that a user’s single digital identity is stored in a secure and incorruptible manner. These records can only be updated by trusted parties and all changes are logged in a chronological order. This single digital identity can always be up-to-date with the latest user information while all the changes can be tracked based on their date of change.
A Blockchain powered digital identity system for NGOs will help solve the age old problems of record keeping via database with a modern approach of scaling records with up-to-date information as people make progress within society. Below are the identified problems that can be solved by this hack.
1. Undocumented People – People who identify as an ethnic minority living in rural ethnic areas that remain undocumented, as they have little to no existing records with the local government and its branches.
2. Unsecured Information – Local record keeping remain in paper-based format while basic and ageing databases are employed for non-profit records.
3. Out of Date and Fragmented Data – Duplicate records of individuals exist in the current non-profit organizations and the records are mostly out of date.
4. Siloed and Standalone Records – Existing databases for local non-profit organizations are standalone and are not able to be employed for collaboration.
5. Repeated Data Entries and Manual Retrieval – Registration across NGOs and their partners require repeated data entry and the inefficiency of retrieving data for cross-examination are done manually and are time consuming.
Omar Abdulmohsin Esteban – Blockchain Specialist
Aron Jhed Amiscosa – Developer
Luis John Terrado – Developer
Jomari Yves Gaffud – UI/UX Developer
Mia Camille Deatras – UI/UX Developer / Documentations