Ambitious OSIA ID management project commences in Congo

Paris, France

Idemia, in partnership with Civipol, the technical cooperation operator of the French Ministry of the Interior, Digitech, a leading provider of paperless Civil Registry solutions, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund and Caritas, a confederation of 165 Catholic relief, development and social service organisations, are embarking on the first deployment of the open-standard Identity Management interface OSIA in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). 

This World Bank funded project aims to register 2.4 million children and produce 600,000 birth certificates. The consortium led by Civipol supports the ambitious goal set out by the United Nations General Assembly “One ID for all by 2030”.

The consortium focuses on two project streams: the first stream concentrates on the enhancement of the current Civil Registry process through dematerialising the process and digitalising existing Civil Registries. The second stream allows children enrolled in nursery and primary schools to register for free if they belong to the 60 % of DRC’s children that have not been registered at birth.

The data collection process was launched in April 2019 in the schools of Kinshasa, and is now entering its second phase with the integration of the registration data from the Civil Registry system – based on a Digitech solution - into the Civil Identity database provided by Idemia.

"The Civil Identity database is critical for the success of the program for the Congolese government. The database and its back-end ensure that each child getting a birth certificate is de-duplicated and given a unique identifier. This provides the Congolese government with a long-term solution for modern identity management." said Debora Comparin, Senior Market Manager at Idemia.

"What makes this project so special is the first deployment of OSIA, the open-standard interface for Identity Management, developed with the Secure Identity Alliance (SIA). All members of the consortium are truly committed to offer a solution to their customers that avoids vendor-locking and focuses on the long-term benefits for the country." added Philippe Barreau, Executive Vice President for Public Security & Identity activities at Idemia.

So-called vendor-locking has been identified as a key concern to ensure implementation of modern identity management systems in emerging countries. Whether design and deployment are led by a single technology partner or a master system integrator managing a multi-provider environment, governments often come to depend on their partner(s). Their ability to transition to new suppliers or technologies might be hampered by contractual arrangements, a raft of technical compatibility issues and considerable operational risk.

Idemia is a supporter of open-standard solutions to solve this problem. An open-standard approach utilises existing modules and components from existing ID technology providers, and uses OSIA interfaces to enable the information interchange. Quite apart from the fact that these field-proven modules encapsulate decades of expertise from trusted partners, there is no need to reinvent anything. The modules are available on the market today.

"Idemia is proud to be the first company that actively uses OSIA in such an important programme as the modernisation of DRC’s identity management." concluded Debora Comparin


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