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MOSIP as a Digital Public Good



The United Nations Secretary General appointed a High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation to consider the ways the world works together to address the significant and wide-ranging consequences of digital technologies, in order to widen their benefits and minimise their harm. In particular, the Panel chaired by Melinda Gates and Jack Ma, considered how digital cooperation can contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Panel's report was released in June 2019 and highlighted the urgent need for cooperation and multi-stakeholder driven, inclusive action that is grounded in common human values. It defined 'digital public goods' as technologies and content that can be used to accelerate the SDGs, and that are freely and openly available, with minimal
restrictions on their use and adaptation.

In a discussion of digital ID, MOSIP was mentioned in the report as an approach on digital ID that has learned from the successes and failures of early adopters in order to develop open source code as a resource for countries to adapt. MOSIP's platform-based approach was further highlighted as a possible model for accerlerating the development and engagement on digital public goods:

There is currently no “go to” place for discovering, engaging with, building, and investing in digital public goods. Along the lines of the MOSIP model – and with the participation of civil society and other stakeholders – such a platform could create great value by enabling the sharing and adaptation of digital technologies and content across countries in a wider range of areas relevant to achieving the SDGs. 

This approach is further developed through the 'Digital Public Goods Alliance', a resource and collaborative network designed to facilitate the development, discovery, scalability, and use of digital public goods by anyone in the world at little or no cost. It is a welcome resource for many different sectors, and already lists over 70 'Candidates' for Digital Public Goods across software, data repositories and open standards. MOSIP, after its release in open source under the Mozilla Public License 2.0, has been included in this list, and we look forward to collaborations and progress across all these valuable efforts.