“Identity for Good” program helps provide SSI to NGOs and nonprofits

October 29, 2018

We’ve teamed up with Evernym, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, to form Identity For Good, an initiative to provide non-governmental agencies (NGOs) and nonprofit organizations with free access to the latest tools, technology, and expertise surrounding self-sovereign identity (SSI). This December, five organizations will be chosen by a panel of judges, to participate in  Evernym’s SSI Accelerator Program, with more participants expected to be chosen in 2019.

The Sovrin Foundation was created under the belief that digital identity should be a global public utility, truly accessible to all. It is estimated that more than 1 billion people worldwide are considered “invisible,” lacking identity credentials such as birth certificates, citizenship cards or government ID. The most basic human rights – access to education, employment, food and shelter – are often denied to those lacking formal identification. Technologies like the Sovrin Network presents an unprecedented opportunity to provide self-sovereign identities to those that need it most.

Identity for Good, from SSI pioneer Everynm, allows NGOs and nonprofits to innovate in the identity technology space without putting financial strain on budgets. The Accelerator Program provides training from the world’s leading identity experts, giving participants a head-start in the development of their own digital identity solutions.

We asked Andy Tobin, Evernym Managing Director, for Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Asia to share a few insights about the Accelerator Program and Identity for Good:

Sovrin: Why did Evernym create an Accelerator Program? What does it aim to do?

Andy: As we traveled the world to raise awareness about SSI and the Sovrin Network’s capabilities, we saw that the demand for this technology spans organizations of all sizes. Even though Sovrin is completely open source, it is critical that we provide resources for organizations to learn, prototype, and get use cases into production. The Evernym Accelerator helps provide these resources by giving members access to the latest tools, training, and the expertise from the people who created the initial code for Sovrin. The Accelerator Program also provides a friendly and inviting ecosystem for organizations to collaborate with one another.

SF: Why did you feel it was necessary to make the program available to NGOs and nonprofits?

AT: Evernym wants to help make Sovrin available to all. The Accelerator Program is typically a paid membership program, but we recognize there are non-commercial use cases – like public good initiatives – that could benefit from a technology like Sovrin but lack a budget to support development.

By launching Identity for Good, we hope to support innovation for these use cases by providing NGOs and nonprofits access to the same tools and training as our corporate members.

SF: What criteria will judges be looking for when selecting Identity for Good participants? Do you have any advice to applicants to ensure they stand out?

AT: Primarily we are looking for compelling use cases that focus on social impact and involves digital identity or trust solutions. Applicants should be ready to start work within the program immediately; this includes having developer resources to address the intended use case. We’re also looking for applicants who want to bring their solutions to market by mid 2019.

SF: How long will participants receive access to tools and training once chosen?

AT: Identity for Good membership spans 12 months. The process of onboarding, access to tools, online training, etc, begins as soon as applicants are selected.

SF: What opportunity does SSI represent for efforts in the social impact sector? Why is a technology like Sovrin so important?

AT: Being able to prove who you are via a trusted identity credential is an essential facet of human existence. We believe that everyone should have access to SSI regardless of background, geography, age, religion, or ethnicity. Today’s internet identity schemes have compromised users’ security and privacy. Sovrin promises to deliver an identity layer for the internet that solves a myriad of problems we currently face, including security breaches and data hacks.

For NGOs and nonprofits who are interested in Identity for Good, applications must be received by Wednesday, October 31, 2018. To apply, visit:  https://www.evernym.com/ifg-app/

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