Future of Development hosts workshop on Ethiopia’s digital ID programme

19 February 2024

The Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Development, in collaboration with The World Bank and National ID Ethiopia, recently concluded a research workshop aimed at enhancing delivery of Ethiopia’s new Fayda digital identification system.

The two-day workshop held in Addis Ababa focussed on the implementation progress of Ethiopia's National ID Program (NIDP) that intends to issue digital IDs to over 70 million citizens and residents in Ethiopia by the end of 2025. Fayda also aims to enhance the delivery of and access to public and private sector services by fostering efficiency in areas such as banking, social services and healthcare.

Millions of Ethiopians are without current forms of identification such as government issued IDs and birth certificates. As a result, individuals face barriers to basic activities such as opening bank accounts, accessing health insurance, receiving cash transfers, applying for government documents and other processes crucial to participation in the formal economy.

The workshop aimed to build the foundation for long-term research and learning agenda around the rollout of Fayda, particularly focusing on rigorous impact evaluations. Initial focus areas for this research will be social protection, financial inclusion, and refugees and internally displaced people.

Co-led by Christian Meyer, Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Development, the workshop connected Ethiopian and international researchers with the Fayda team and diverse stakeholders including government officials, telecommunications companies, payment service providers, UN agencies, private sector representatives, and development partners.

The programme said it is excited to witness the transformative impact of Fayda on Ethiopia and people living in the country as they continue to work with their partners on generating rigorous evidence.