ARUA CoE Identities Workshop for Early Career Scholars Programme : (Un)Official Identification for Health

Friday, 19 November, 2021 - 10:30

Keith Breckenridge and Sarah Ssali, Director of the ARUA COE on Identities, host a panel Identification and COVID19.

Please join this discussion on Zoom here.


Pre-recorded presentations for the panel are available on-line here.

Vinayak  Bhardwaj,  Regional  Migration  Advisor/Referent  at  Doctors  without  Borders (MSF) Southern Africa, South Africa.

Sanjay Dharwadker, Identity Standards Expert, United Nations (Digital identity in the humanitarian sector) and global identity standards, South Africa.

John  Effah,  Associate  Professor  of  Information  Systems  Department  of Operations & Management Information Systems University of Ghana Business School, Ghana.

Jonathan Klaaren, Law School, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.

Claudio Machado, IDM Independent Consultant, Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS), Brasília, Federal District, Brazil.

Tonny  Oyana  Principal,  College  of  Computing  and  Information  Sciences, Makerere University, Uganda.

Gabriella  Razzano,  Research  Associate  and  Legal  Consultant,  Founding  Director of OpenUP, and Chairperson of the African Platform on Access to Information Working Group, South Africa.

SDG16.9 explicitly calls for providing legal identity for all, including birth registration by 2030? COVID19 has become a key enabler of this registration, through the requirement of different kinds of identification and evidence, of one’s status as a sufferer, survivor and/or vaccinated. The new additional COVID19 travel requirements, especially for travel have the capacity to validate  or  invalidate  one’s  travel  status.  In  many  places,  the  COVID19  vaccination  status determines who can access which spaces, such as restaurants, offices, entertainment venues, sports grounds and more. Debates of vaccine equity and apartheid highlight the significance of nationality to access, as those in richer countries are more likely to have access than others. In poorer  countries,  vaccines  rationing  is  mediated  through  proof  of  national/citizenship identification, justified by the need of tracking. This has seen the increase in the amount and frequency  of  information  collected  about  people’s  movement,  location,  health,  and  general biometrics. But what are the implications of this for the individuals and the State? What else could this information be used for and with what consequences? What kinds of identities are likely to emerge? How legal and illegal are such potential identities? Identities and how they are  constructed  and  deployed  are  key  determinants  of  inclusion,  access  to  resources  and services, and to social stability. This panel, comprising scholars, IT experts, researchers and policy  makers  working  on  COVID19,  Law,  Identification  and  Health  will  engage  with  these questions and more, focusing on:

1) debates about the nexus between COVID19 and national identification  processes; 

2)  experiences  associated  with  this  nexus; 

3)  implications  of  this nexus; and

4) researching identities and identification processes.  

Workshop Delivery mode: Panellists will share short videos of their work, which will be availed to participants beforehand. Participants are asked to view and share any questions triggered by the videos beforehand. The actual event will comprise of a free form discussion, where the moderator  will  engage  the  panellists  and  participants.  In  addition,  we  shall  have  breakout sessions and feedback plenary.