Working towards a legal identity for all

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Setting the scene

In last year’s Global Annual Review, we reported how PwC sponsored the inaugural ID2020 Summit at the UN in New York. The event marked the start of a 15-year programme aimed at bringing together leading influencers and innovators to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16.9, to ‘provide legal identity to all, including birth registration, by 2030’. This year we’ve maintained the momentum, sponsoring the 2017 ID2020 ‘Platform for Change’ Summit, and working globally to help ID2020 advance towards its goal.

PwC's strong commitment reflects the massive scale and profound impacts of the issue that ID2020 is seeking to address. Across the world, it’s estimated that about 1.1 billion people are living without a legal identity. That means about 20% of the global population living in the black economy, with no access to bank accounts or government services like education and health. Having no legal identify also makes people vulnerable to human trafficking, now the third most profitable criminal enterprise globally. 

"I’m really proud of the fact that from very small beginnings, ID2020 is going from strength to strength, building alliances that are breaking the mould for public-private collaboration."

Patrick Spens Transformation and assurance director, PwC UK

How we helped

For the people affected, this is a dire situation that we feel we cannot stand by and ignore. So, since sponsoring the first ID2020 summit in 2016, we’ve worked with ID2020 all year helping build its strategy and capacity as a nexus for funding, thought-leadership, and collaborative action to solve one of society's biggest challenges.

And as well as sponsoring the second ID2020 summit in New York in June 2017 – attended by an impressive number of private sector companies, UN ambassadors and humanitarian leaders – we contributed a wealth of relevant knowledge and insight to the event. The PwC team attending included specialists from PwC firms in the US, UK, Canada, and Argentina, with diverse expertise including blockchain, strategy, technology, humanitarian aid, risk, Fintech and crisis management.

Impact

As a milestone on its journey to a digital identity for everybody by 2030, ID2020 aims to reach technical proof of concept for workable solutions by 2020. At the ID2020 summit we helped accelerate progress towards that goal, working hand-in-hand with others to build practical roadmaps for how solutions can be designed, developed and deployed using technologies such as blockchain.