This Practitioner’s Guide is a reference document to be consulted by governments, development partners, academics and others when considering, designing, implementing, or managing a foundational digital identification (ID) system. It is not intended to be a Guide for planning World Bank operations.

This Guide is based on evolving international good practice, as understood by the World Bank’s Identification for Development (ID4D) initiative. It reflects experiences in a range of countries from different regions, with different legal systems, and at different stages of economic development. It also takes into account existing literature, international conventions, and norms and principles (including the Principles on Identification).

There is no guarantee that addressing all the issues raised in this Guide will result in successful ID system in a country—that will depend on many factors that must be considered, and which may be different from country to country. While every attempt has been made to be complete, there may be issues affecting the design, establishment of operation of an ID system that are not addressed in this Guide, or that are addressed in the context of certain assumptions, facts and circumstances that do not apply equally to every situation. This Guide is a reference tool only.