Service Delivery and Electronic Identification (eID) – Session 1 – Panel discussion 2 & Closing panel

Notes from the World Bank workshop on “Service Delivery and Electronic Identification (eID)” in Washington.


Estonia Case Study: Arvo Ott, Chairman, e-Governance Academy, Estonia and Tarvi Martens, Development Director, SK – Estonian ID Agency

People in Estonia are using a lot of technology – they are very savvy

Everyone has an ID card, it’s compulsory for citizens

Certification is done in the private sector – values are stored in a central database

  • It’s used for public transportation
  • authentication to log in e-citizen portal
  • secure email – for C2C, B2C, G2C
  • internet voting

public sector is obliged to accept eIDs

PKI – public key infrastructure – infrastructure has to be created first

Cards were issued – but users were not there


  • Habits
  • Barriers – software
  • Promotion – people didn’t know about it

Average EU citizen

  • uses government e-services 1 time a year
  • uses e-banking 1 time a week
  • how to increase the first number?


  • Availability
  • Wide support and usability
  • Reader distribution
  • SW installation made easy -  multi-platform upgrade on the way

Alternative – MobileID

  • PKI capable SIM cards
  • Instantly ready to use
  • But still in early stage

Number of users did increase

Policy aspects

  • is the government responsible for building the PKI?
  • simple plastic cards vs. smart cards
  • many eIDs or just one?
  • politicians expect fast results

Lessons learned

  • Infrastructure for all – public, private sector …
  • Simple tools for eID
  • technology neutral tools are important
  • data protection is in most cases on the side of the end user
  • there are a lot of critics


Belgium Case study: Frank Leyman, Manager International Relations, FEDICT, Belgium

Belgium situation is complicated – different regions have different desires

National decision – reorganize public services

  • Interconnected databases of different ministries, on top of that a secure layer
  • Window to the outside world:national portal website
  • Smart card that “opens the door” – get access to certain services
  • The key is used to get access to an application

Future: integrated e.g. social security card with eID card

layered model, open, not dependent on private suppliers, authentic host;

Never outsource your core product

Three different IDs for under 12, oder 12, foreign residents

Security measures for children cards

eID is available to anybody wanting to identify people / companies

eID offers possibility to retain localized information

even ministers sign their laws and decrees from home with their eID

tools developed with & for the eID card

  • citizen portal
  • website about all kinds of questions around the ID
  • interactive map with appllications that use eID
  • quick install toolbox e.g. for a card reader
  • insight what personal data ministries keep & when and where it was checked
  • website for checking Belgian ID

International aspects

trying to connect to other countries

in Europe – connect authentication systems of all the countries


  • Underestimated communication & education
  • Number of card readers was to low
  • Price of internet & PCs is very high
  • Number of applications is small

10 action points

  • National political consensus
  • Create legal framework
  • Clean your authentic sources
  • Typcial layers – create good rules of the game
  • Tools so everybody can develop around it
  • Spend enough time that everyone finds out
  • Don’t forget the world outside

Q & A:

Afghanistan:Related to e-government, there are various case studies – but we want to know how to best start e-government and eID in a country such as Afghanistan, recovering from year-long war.

Bangladesh: Challenges – poor people can’t afford eID cards, high number of inhabitants, also many in rural areas. How can eID bring a benefit for poor people?

Grenada: Concern – political will. We have a World Bank project dealing with eID, educating the public. Politicians have more concerns creating jobs than giving people eID cards.

India: Has there been use of eID in the education and tourism sector? Is the national ID becoming a global ID? There is no standard in biometrics, there is no standard providing IDs, many agencies and none talk to another.

Mozambique: Who has the ownership of eID projects.

Russia: eID systems which are used by the states have often problems with interoperability? Do you use own, custom made technological solution; if not- how can you assure that everything works? What number of Smartcards for getting paid services? How sophisticated should the devices into which a simcard is put, be?

Uganda: How do you get power in remote areas to benefit from technology?

Tanzania: Who is really eligable to register as Tanzanian? Online vs. Offline system – what makes more sense for Tanzania? How to motivate a Tanzanian to register for an eID?

Twitter: Is the issue of PPPs being looked at for successful implementation?

Mr. Leyman

  • How to start e-government in a poor country? You need a fitting project; if eID fits there, good
  • Cost of eID? Municipalities: 8€ per card + 1€ per certificate;
  • Political will? You should not give in
  • Tourism & eduction? Enrolment to universities via internet, registration of hotels;
  • Biometric standards? Not yet present
  • Ownership? Different from country to country; Belgium: government level
  • HW/SW? Wrote application ourselves, but outsourced the programming
  • Tanzanian? How do I rebuild my national register – in Congo for election purposes all the people were photographed & fingerprints were taken & people were put in a database
  • Online vs. Offline? Take small steps, online is generally better

Mr. Hakeem

  • Infrastructure? Same problems in Pakistan – practical steps: create benefits for people to register for cards; politicians want to get their voters registered, social security is a motivation;

Mr. Ott & Mr. Martens

  • How to start e-government in a poor country? Make a clear picture who is motivated and who is responsible; partnership with private sector engagements
  • Online vs. Offline? If the infrastructure is not in the place – offline; although they are more risky and more expensive
  • PPPs? Was one of our main driving forces
  • Mobile solutions? Every mobile phone can be used, which has a simcard
  • Eduction? E-school – everything is electronic and a meeting place for pupils, teachers, parents
  • HW/SW? If something is out there which is good take it – no need to reinvent the wheel every time


Closing Panel: “How to Move Forward on Mainstreaming Electronic Identification in Development Agenda”

Ernesto May – Sector Director, SASPF

Main conclusion – challenges not related to technology, but technology can be brought in to tackle these challenges

It’s vital for governments to more efficiently reach their citizens & provide their services

We need to be adressing issues in a tactical matter

Sharing experiences is important – and bring experiences to the local conditions

Tags: , , , , ,
Service Delivery and Electronic Identification (eID) – Session 1 – Panel discussion 2 & Closing panel
was published on 07.05.2009 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
3 Comments AddThis Feed Button

3 Responses to “Service Delivery and Electronic Identification (eID) – Session 1 – Panel discussion 2 & Closing panel”

  1. » Blog Archive » Service Delivery and Electronic Identification (eID) - Session 2 Says:

    […] Same presentations as in Service Delivery and Electronic Identification (eID) – Session 1 – Panel di… […]

  2. How National ID Cards and Other eID Applications can Improve Service Delivery and Governance? at eDevelopment Thematic Group Blog Says:

    […] Live Coverage at Blog (Part 1, Part 2, Part […]

  3. Watch Year One Online Free Says:

    Hey, cool tips. Perhaps I’ll buy a glass of beer to the person from that forum who told me to go to your blog 🙂
    p.s. Year One is already on the Internet and you can watch it for free.