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Thursday, 5 May, 2022 - 10:44

Mobile SIM registration linked to digital ID is causing exclusion of marginalised groups, and concerns about privacy in the absence of sufficient legal safeguards, especially in nations with a history of abuse by authorities.
 
In recent weeks, millions of Nigerians have been barred from making calls after the government instructed telecommunications providers to disconnect their SIM cards because they failed to comply with the government directive to register and link them to their digital ID, known as the National Identity Number (NIN).
 
Most countries in Africa – 50 nations according to research by Privacy International - and around the world require SIM registration to identify the user.  However, Nigeria has gone further by requiring SIM cards to be registered and linked with a citizen’s digital ID, and therefore with the biometric data that it contains. Nigeria is not alone in doing this: some 30 countries globally require SIM registration linked to digital ID including biometric data such as fingerprints or facial images.
 
Such a registration policy excludes many marginalised groups such as some ethnic minorities or migrant workers without ID proof such as a birth certificates, needed to obtain a digital ID. This locks them out from obtaining a SIM - and therefore from mobile connectivity - and from government services that increasingly require mobile or internet service to access.
 
Secondly, SIM registration...

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Top Ten Books on Digital Development

Following a popular Twitter Thread I wrote on this subject recently, I thought it might be useful to have these all in one place. 

 

 

Digital Development: what's in a name?

 

Richard Heeks recently asked whether the emerging relationship between digital technology and international development should be referred to as "Digital Development" or "Digital-for-Development". I use these two terms to refer to different things.

 

Ten Rules of Technology

Nothing is more practical than rules to guide thinking. In this post I share the ten rules I use to think about technology and society. Personally I use them as tools to filter the hype that surrounds technology and to get to the critical questions of who benefits and loses, as well as what needs to be done to secure a more equitable society.

Podcast with Nanjala Nyabola

In this episode of of the IDS "Between The Lines", podcast I spoke to Kenyan journalist and political analyst Nanjala Nyabola, about her book ‘Digital Democracy, Analogue Politics: How the Internet Era is Transforming Politics in Kenya’. The book focuses on how social media has impacted Kenyan politics both positively and negatively, and the consequences for democracy.

Digital Imperialism & How We Tackle It

I recently ran a session on Digital Development here at IDS for staff from two bilateral donors.

Class Divisions in Technology Access

Mobile internet use in the Philippines is growing rapidly, but so are associated digital inequalities.

Digital Technology Excludes

 

This month I have been in the Philippines researching participatory technology initiatives designed to include Filipino citizens in participatory governance programmes.

 

Perversely I came back more concerned about the ways that digital technologies exclude the most marginalised. In this post I explain the reasons why.

 

ICT4D Conference Calendar 2018

 
Here's a early look at the calendar of ICT4D conferences that have already announced dates and locations for 2018.
As ever May will be the busiest month of the year for ICT4D conferences.
 

Decent Work in a Digital World

The last few weeks have been super busy here in the Digital and Technology team at IDS. I'm preparing for fieldwork in the Philippines at the same time as we are juggling a raft of exciting new research proposals at various stages of development. Last week we also ran the inagural Digital Development Summit at London's South Bank Centre.

ICT4D Conferences 2017

A calendar of ICT4D conferences in 2017.

Let a Thousand ICT4D Blogs Bloom

 

On his Facebook page last week Richard Heeks, from the Centre for Development Informatics at Manchester University, was lamenting the fact that many ICT4D blogs have become inactive.

Mapping The Explosion of Tech Hubs Across Africa

As recently as 2011, at an international conference, an expert from Africa's first and foremost Tech Hub estimated that there might be as many as 14 or 15 hubs across Africa. The truth was that no-one knew for sure how many existed. To try and get some accurate data on numbers, Lukonga Lindunda and I decided to initiate a crowdmap of Africa's Tech Hubs.

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