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

Identity Management and Service Delivery : Botswana

This paper gives an analysis of Botswana’s identity management system and explains in depth how identity management is a cornerstone for sustained service delivery and central to identification of persons and authentication of person data. It explains how citizens use identity as an access tool to claiming their rights, gaining access to social safety net programmes and services and to facilitate transactions between themselves, Government and the private sector. On the other hand, the paper explains how Government itself uses identity management as a basic tool for public administration and governance including electoral management. The paper underpins the centrality of integrity of data, including integrity of the registration infrastructure as in the registration processes; registration documents and the personnel etc. and suggests that integrity is a cornerstone of Botswana’s identity management system. Further, the paper underscores the importance of ensuring effective management of identity life-cycle, right from the beginning of identity (birth registration) to the end of an identity (death registration) to uphold the integrity and ensure that the national registers are not bloated. Integrity has largely contributed to the trust and confidence as well as the wide acceptability and use of identity by all stakeholders in the country. The strengths and weaknesses of Botswana’s identity management thus far are highlighted. The paper hails the proposed digital identity and virtual ‘People Hub’ as a strategy to further improve on service delivery and expand on both Government and private sector’s capacities to deliver services albeit with improved data protection policies and legal framework to control the keeping and release of person data.//

Event reference: 
The Hague Colloquium on the Future of Legal Identity