Digital identity for citizenry is a means of forcing the populace to utilise new media.
An attempt towards this is the system at KRA the Kenya Revenue Authority, where everyone with a PIN number has a digital identity. One can, using the KRA system, access and manage tax digitally. Thus a profile is created for any entity that wishes to legally abide by tax obligations.
This is however optional and as such a good number of Kenyans who are not in the tax system are outside of it.
As far as feedback and communication,the norm has always been to let the populace utilise whatever email address they so chose for communication with the system. After all, this is a democratic state.
An extensive number of the populace do not use email in the first place.
So why not give it to them?
Imagine this, a digital imprint of everyone with an Identity Card on a government portal complete with a communications module.
As every Kenyan citizen turns 18, you automatically head towards governmental offices to apply for a Kenyan Identity card.
( This reminds me of the Identity Card mess currently ongoing in Northern Kenya, where the baffling task of deciphering whether a person is of Somali, Ethiopian or Kenyan origin has left many applicants without identity cards.)
As you apply for your Identity Card, the process first creates a digital profile in the governmental database, hosted by Posta, who,in tandem with the fervour with which the Kenya ICT Board and IBM are laying plans to revamp the Postal Services of Kenya, this digital communication module, henceforth referred to as DCM, has Posta hosting and managing the communication and elements of this official government DCM, accessible by relevant arms of government, like the judiciary,immigration, Police,tax regulators, death certification et al.
Your static profile grows in accordance to your civil process activity with all governmental procedures requiring the use of your official identity.
Why at point if ID cards? Because Kenyans willingly queue for this process and it does not require a costly marketing strategy to reach out to people to get into the program.
Why Posta? The Post office is the classic medium of communication understood by everyone. To bring them up into the digital age handles the aspect of change management in the general populace without extensive process alteration in personal practices by the populace.
Competition from e-mail and private operations such as United Parcel Service and FedEx has forced USPS to adjust its business strategy and to modernize its products and services. First Class mail volume (which is protected by legal monopoly) has declined 22% from 1998 to 2007, due to the increasing use of e-mail and the World Wide Web for correspondence and business transactions.
In 2008, a general economic slowdown also affected mail volumes, especially advertising.
Lower volume means lower revenues to support the fixed commitment to deliver to every address once a day, six days a week. In response, the USPS has increased productivity each year from 2000 to 2007, through increased automation, route re-optimization, and facility consolidation.
Thus your profile accords you a digital electronic mail that the government accepts as your legal hotline to its matrix. This electronic communication identity is synonymous to your id card number and thus cannot be forged or faked.
Step two is the feed back aspect of this identity, where you are accorded a right to view your profile, under the new constitution under article , the right of public scrutiny and public availability of data and governmental process.
Being humans, and Knowing that this is Kenya, there may be disputes as so happens between human beings every so often.
For any communication with government, dispute resolution, lodging of claims and any other such process across arms of government,this digital medium is to be used to lodge any systemic changes….