The Hague Colloquium on the Future of Legal Identity

Civil Registration Centre for Development, The Hague and the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research, Johannesburg

Sanjay Dharwadker

WCC Smart Search & Match

Sanjay Dharwadker heads the global ID consultancy practice for WCC, Utrecht ( The organization offers a versatile tool-box for identity search and match, that is currently being tuned to address diverse social issues related to migration, crime and not the least, national identity. WCC works closely inter alia, with the Netherlands government (IND), the European Union (EU-VIS), UNHCR and on projects such as the border-crossing of migrant workers across Mexico – Guatemala. Earlier he worked in Africa for nearly a decade on projects such as identity management and personalized engagement for effective ARV dispensation among key populations. Before that, in India, he was part of the team/s that evaluated and considered the possibilities of using large-scale identity management tools (registration, smart cards and biometrics) for welfare, and participated in the standardization process that helped accelerate low-cost implementations in the last decade, leading finally to the nation-wide Aadhaar program. But it was the earlier decade that provided him the real insights into developmental challenges, when he worked for the Technology Missions initiated in India to break away from the inertia of conventional state intervention. During this time, he traveled to nearly 200 of India’s 600 rural districts – monitoring progress of drinking water and immunization programs. These were then being managed in close cooperation with UNICEF, the World Bank and a number of bilateral agencies. He has made a number of presentations on both the technologies involved as well as their impact and benefits for the people. During 2008-2012 he was on the jury of the Sesame awards for innovations in identification technologies, presented annually during Cartes, Paris. He is a mathematician and computer scientist having obtained his post-graduation from BITS, Pilani, one of India’s leading technology & science universities.