Blockchain has given birth — OK, that’s hyperbole, but news has emerged of the first “blockchain baby” born earlier this year in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The news underscores the role that digital ID and blockchain can have in humanitarian efforts, an area where those technologies are taking on more responsibilities.
The development in the Africa country comes courtesy of what one report described as a joint effort between Irish AID:Tech and Dutch PharmAccess, and it reflects the goal of using “blockchain technology in facilitating the delivery of aid and sharing of data, with the common aim of implementing support as efficiently as possible.”
Blockchain baby exemplifies how digital ID helps humanitarian groups
More specifically, according to another report, “in what was a world’s first, the digital identity of a baby born in Tanzania was added to this digital ledger, making the infant entitled to imperative care and fund allocation that would otherwise prove difficult to track and source.”
The overall project uses digital ID and blockchain to ensure access to vitamins. As well, the technologies enable humanitarian authorities to cut down on fraud and potentially keep better track of program costs.
The project in Tanzania uses digital ID and blockchain to ensure access to vitamins
It’s not just one “blockchain baby,” though — reports indicate two other babies, siblings, also are having their digital IDs buttressed by blockchain technology. And that is just the beginning.
This effort in Africa is just one recent example of blockchain and digital ID in larger-scale humanitarian efforts. Evernym, a company using distributed ledger technology for identity, said it working with the Red Cross and four other global nonprofit groups on a project designed to boost the use and power of digital ID for humanitarian purposes.
Through a program called the Identity for Good initiative, or ID4G, the Red Cross and the other organizations will get ‘free access to the latest tools, technology, and expertise surrounding self-sovereign identity through the Evernym Accelerator Program,” according to the program’s website. The program normally charges an annual membership fee of $50,00 per year. Besides the Red Cross, other organizations taking part in the program are iRespond, DECODES, Tykn, and Rohingya Project.