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Unbundling Informed Consent: Learnings from Mae La

– ID2020

Devina Srivastava and Cornelius Saunders of the ID2020 Alliance share learnings on informed consent from the Alliance’s digital identity pilot project in Mae La Camp, Thailand – an endeavor that, with the International Rescue Committee and iRespond, aims to set up a biometric identity platform for camp residents

In this blog post, the ID2020 team outline the meaning of informed consent, defined though UN OCHA as:

"an ethical (and in some cases, legal) mechanism ensuring that individuals voluntarily provide information with full knowledge of relevant risks."

They also take this idea and share learnings from a digital identity pilot project in Mae La Camp, Thailand, which has been home to refugees (mainly from Myanmar) since 1984. With the International Rescue Committee and iRespond, ID2020 have set up a biometric identity platform for camp residents.

ID2020 outlines the goals of the program as well as the benefits it believes the program could achieve. This success, the Alliance argues, can only be achieved with "transparent collaboration." They conclude by stating that informed consent is vital in the quest for "good" digital identity. However, the pursuit of “good” digital identity systems must be active - it will not happen "spontaneously."

We need to place the local population at the center, understand their needs, capacities and incentives, and ensure that trust is built in the community

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