Despite significant progress in recent years, nearly a billion people are still unable to prove their identity, and millions more have forms of identification that cannot be reliably verified or authenticated.  In an increasingly digital age, the lack of verifiable identification often results in exclusion from economic opportunities and a variety of social and political rights.

As this agenda continues to grow globally, a few persistent issues constantly surface.  It is for this reason that ID4D and its partners want to spur innovative ideas and solutions to these perennial issues by launching the Mission Billion Challenge, which will focus on a single pressing issue each year. 

Inaugural Mission Billion Challenge

Privacy by Design and Greater Control of Personal Data

For the inaugural Mission Billion Challenge, ID4D will start with an issue at the heart of digital identification design:  privacy and user control of their identification.   We want to surface practical and cost-effective ‘privacy by design’ features that can be engineered into digital identity systems to both reduce the data protection risks and provide people in developing countries greater control over their data.

The core question of the inaugural Mission Billion Challenge is: “How can digital identification systems in developing countries be designed to protect people’s privacy and provide them with greater control over their personal data?”

Join the Challenge

Mission Billion is open to: 

  • Individuals, including academics, entrepreneurs, scientists, technologists and other engaged citizens; and 
  • Organizations involved in research, advocacy, design and implementation of digital identification systems, including startups, foundations, non-governmental organizations and intergovernmental organizations.  

Submissions will be evaluated by committees formed of staff members of the World Bank and partner organizations.  The final evaluation panel will be composed of globally recognized experts in the field of digital identification systems.

Mission Billion will launch in November 2018!

To join the Mission Billion mailing list and be the first to know about Challenge developments, please email us at

With support from:

In collaboration with: