As a first step in assisting its client countries to close this identity gap, the World Bank Group’s ID4D initiative conducts Identity Management Systems Analyses (IMSAs) to evaluate countries’ identity ecosystems and facilitate collaboration with governments for future work. To date, analyses have been conducted in 17 African countries. Overall, these analyses reveal a wide range of identity system types and levels of development. Some countries have systems that are relatively advanced in terms of coverage, robustness, integration, and utility. Many others are in intermediate levels of development, while others still have non-existent or newly emerging identity systems.
The first section of this paper synthesizes the findings from these reports according to the five dimensions of the IMSA: administration, accessibility, technology, integration, and legal frameworks. Based on these findings, the second offers some general conclusions about the current state of identity systems in these countries. A final section offers recommendations from these IMSAs that may be broadly applicable to other developing contexts, as well as recommendations for future WBG engagement in this area.