The customer, a leading democracy, needed a mechanism that uniquely identiﬁes each person and ensures instant identity veriﬁcation. Here, the inability to prove one’s identity is one of the biggest barriers preventing the poor from accessing beneﬁts and subsidies. Public and private sector agencies across the country require proof of identity to provide individuals with services. As a result, every time individuals try to access a service, they have to undergo the complete cycle of identity veriﬁcation. In addition, numerous service providers differ in terms of the documents they demand. This is especially unfair to the country’s underprivileged residents living in remote locations. They usually lack documents and ﬁnd it diffcult to meet the costs of multiple veriﬁcation processes. The need to prove identity only once would reduce their transaction costs. The identity number would enable delivery of social welfare programs to communities that are, at present, denied such beneﬁts due to their lack of identiﬁcation. It would also help track whether the intended beneﬁciaries actually receive the funds / subsidies.
Being a ﬁrst-of-its kind venture comes with various challenges – technological, political, social, and logistical. Hence, future implications should be taken into account early in the system design process. They include the following:
To design and deliver the enrolment services to the residents, our qualitative design research team studied the interactions between the residents (applicants) and the staff at the enrolment centers. The research focused on the resident’s exchange of instructions and information, with different devices and physical infrastructure at these centers. The observations helped us:
The research used for the above was: