EPAR was invited to present their work on national identity card programs at a workshop organized by the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue for Myanmar's Ministry of Labour, Immigration, and Population. Pierre Biscaye traveled to Nay Pyi Daw, Myanmar to present EPAR's research and interact with 35 officials from various government ministries involved in the design and implementation of the country's new national ID program.
National government systems for personal identification (ID) are integral to civic participation and inclusion. Many countries have established or updated their national identification systems in recent years, in some cases greatly expanding the roles national IDs play in political, economic, and social development. In the summer of 2015, EPAR conducted a review of national ID programs in 43 developing countries, focusing on government efforts to produce national ID cards to facilitate access to a variety of services. View a visualization of EPAR's findings.
Myanmar's government is currently designing a new national ID program and ask the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue to help organize a workshop from December 12-14, 2016 to receive and discuss information on the design and implementation of national ID programs in other developing countries. The workshop included case study presentations on the experience of Cambodia, Peru, Japan, and Ecuador, and presentations on governance and technical/information communication technology (ICT) considerations for national ID programs. EPAR's contribution involved presenting updated findings from our review, with one session on the characteristics of developing country national ID programs and one on the implementation challenges countries have faced. Slides from these presentations are available on our website.
In addition to presenting EPAR's research, Pierre also facilitated group discussions and collective brainstorming on the final day of the workshop with two other presenters, to support participants from the various Myanmar government ministries to internalize and think about how they might apply the information presented in the first two days. Group activities and collective discussions covered the motivation behind Myanmar’s ID card project, how to embed an ID card project into a broader, comprehensive identity management system, institutional reforms needed to support changes to the identity management system, approaches to increasing participation in the ID card project by eligible populations, and potential implementation challenges and solutions.
Following the workshop, EPAR contributed to a brief summary of key takeaways for the government of Myanmar to consider in designing and implementing their new ID program. These takeaways included general considerations around the institutional framework for implementing a national ID program as well as specific considerations relating to governance, implementation, and ICT.
By Pierre Biscaye
Summarizing research by Pierre Biscaye, Sarah Coney, Eugenia Ho, Brian Hutchinson, Mia Neidhardt, C. Leigh Anderson, and Travis Reynolds