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What Good ID Means to Me

  • Viewpoint
  • By Mustafa Mahmoud (Namati)
  • 21 October 2021

Good ID Awards Community Champion, Mustafa Mahmoud, shares his thoughts on what constitutes good ID

My name is Mustafa Mahmoud, and I work as a senior program manager at Namati - an organization which works to advance social and environmental justice by building a movement of people who know, use, and shape the law.

My team at Namati's citizenship program seeks to empower communities on their citizenship rights through community paralegals. 

The Namati mantra of 'know law, use law and shape law’ informs my idea of what Good ID is - it is a system which is transparent, people-centric, detached from security, that doesn't focus on mining data but rather collecting data for the purpose of inclusion and effective service delivery. 

I believe that anything that embodies the term 'identity system' should not be a profiling system used for data manipulation, serving the needs of corporate and security agents

A good ID system is one that focuses on collecting information basic to identification, does not centralize it, is efficient, protects the right to data privacy, and is inclusive of disadvantaged communities such as persons living with disability, minorities, and pastoralists.

I wish to thank the organizers of the Good ID Awards for recognizing the impactful work that all the nominees for the various categories are doing to improve digital ID systems globally.  

I am honored to have been nominated and recognized for my role in the digital ID space. 

Thank you very much to all those who voted for me - it shows that you appreciate and believe in the work that we do. 

Congratulations to the other nominees and thank you for the wonderful work you are doing - it is truly humbling and encouraging to see people dedicated to causes that advocate for inclusivity for all. 

I would also like to celebrate all the Namati partner paralegals in Kenya and Bangladesh who are working hard to make minority voices heard and the movement felt.