The World Bank Group’s Identification for Development (ID4D) initiative announced the launch of the Mission Billion Challenge to make the ‘invisible billion’ – the number of people who still cannot prove who they are –, visible. Mission Billion will crowdsource innovative solutions to strengthen data privacy in digital identification systems and empower users to have greater control of their personal data. The Challenge offers cash prizes totaling US$100,000 with the top prize of US$50,000 for the most promising solutions that enhance trust and protect personal data from being misused or compromised.
The inaugural Mission Billion Challenge is powered by the MIT Solve platform, an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, that uses open innovation and crowdsourcing to solve global challenges.
THE CHALLENGE: How can digital identification systems in developing countries be better designed or adapted to protect people’s privacy and empower them with greater control over their personal data?
PRIZES: Cash prizes totaling $100,000 with a top prize of $50,000.
creative solutions from academics, entrepreneurs, scientists, technologists, and engaged citizens.
Despite significant progress in recent years, one billion people are still unable to prove their identity, and millions more have forms of identification that cannot be reliably verified or authenticated. In an increasingly digital age, the lack of verifiable identification often results in exclusion from economic opportunities and a variety of social and political rights.
For the inaugural Mission Billion Challenge, the ID4D Initiative will start with an issue at the heart of digital identification design: privacy and user empowerment of their identification. As countries and development partners strive to provide identification to millions of people, there is an opportunity to inform the design of digital identification systems to enhance data protection and provide individuals with greater control over their personal data. The Challenge aims to surface practical and cost-effective ‘privacy by design’ features that can be embedded into digital identification systems.
Finalists will be invited to a high-level event in Washington, D.C. to present their solutions or ideas in front of distinguished judges. A total of US$100,000 in cash prizes available with a top prize of US$50,000.
In the event of a tie, winner will be selected based on the criteria described in Judging Criteria (1), then (2), and finally (3). If there is still a tie then the winner will be selected based on a vote by the Judging Committee.
Through this MIT Solve platform, innovators and organizations, can submit a solution to the Mission Billion Challenge. Submissions will be evaluated by committees formed of staff members of the World Bank and partner organizations. The final evaluation panel will be composed of globally recognized experts in the field of digital identification systems.
World Bank retains the right to not select any winners or award any prizes if it so decides.