Call for Consultation

In 2017, a group of development partners, international organizations, government agencies, and NGOs actively working to design and support identification (ID) systems came together organically to develop a set of shared principles essential for maximizing the benefits of identification for development while mitigating the risks. These Principles on Identification for Sustainable Development have now been endorsed by 25 organizations, and have served as a “north star” for global advocacy and country work in support of ID systems that fulfill the promise of inclusive, sustainable development.

When the Principles were published, the group committed to revisit every few years to reflect emerging lessons. To this end, the endorsing organizations are revisiting the text and content of the Principles through a collaborative process and seeking comments and feedback from the broader international community.

Inputs are welcomed and encouraged on the following:

  • Themes or principles that were not originally included but should be considered
  • Principles that need further clarification or elaboration to address new learnings
  • Terminology or wording that needs adjusting to increase understanding

Kindly note that the Principles were intended to serve higher-level outcomes, while implementation good practices have been reflected in other companion documents such as the Practitioner’s Guide.

The roadmap of consultation over the next few months is:

  • Formal Kick-off virtual meeting with 25 endorsing organizations in February for initial comments and to validate a consultation roadmap
  • Call for public comments from mid-February to March 15th
  • Series of face-to-face consultations on the sidelines of larger events between April and June (tentatively ITU WSIS, CSO policy forum at WB/IMF, RightsCon, ID4Africa)
  • Finalize July 2020


universal coverage and accessibility

1. Ensuring universal coverage for individuals from birth to death, free from discrimination.
2. Removing barriers to access and usage and disparities in the availability of information and technology.

robust, secure, responsive, and sustainable

3. Establishing a robust—unique, secure, and accurate—identity.
4. Creating a platform that is interoperable and responsive to the needs of various users.
5. Using open standards and ensuring vendor and technology neutrality.
6. Protecting user privacy and control through system design
7. Planning for financial and operational sustainability without compromising accessibility.

building trust by protecting privacy and user rights

8. Safeguarding data privacy, security, and user rights through a comprehensive legal and regulatory framework.
9. Establishing clear institutional mandates and accountability.
10. Enforcing legal and trust frameworks through independent oversight and adjudication of grievances.

ID4D facilitated a global effort to develop a set of shared Principles that are fundamental to maximizing the benefits of identification systems for sustainable development while mitigating many of the risks. By shaping and endorsing these Principles through a series of consultations, more than 20 organizations (see list below) have taken an important step toward developing a broad consensus on the appropriate approach for identification systems and how they should—and should not—be used to support development and the achievement of multiple SDGs.

These Principles reflect the start of ongoing cooperation and consultation among the growing group of organizations working on identification and development. As with successful identification systems, the Principles must evolve over time as lessons emerge from implementation. Therefore, these organizations have agreed to come together periodically to incorporate new learning into these Principles and strengthen global cooperation to provide legal identity for all.