Documenting Blockchain for the SDGs 1/3

In partnership with UNDP Serbia and supported by The Rockefeller Foundation. SDG №10.C — reducing international remittance fees to below 3%

Blog post by UNDP Serbia (Image credit: LuckyStep48 / Getty Images)

AID:Tech’s 2015 case study in Lebanon, where we used blockchain technology to successfully and effectively delivered international aid to Syrian refugees, placed our solution on the main stage in front of many organisations and individuals spanning the humanitarian and development sectors.

This opportunity led to many invitations to investigate the potential of blockchain technology for addressing development goals; to address some of the world’s largest social issues around poverty, inequality, access and sustainability.

Meeting UNDP Serbia

In November 2016, AID:Tech was introduced to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through our network of channel partners across the world where we began to collaboratively develop solutions for identified pain points. In particular, together with AltFinLab and UNDP Serbia, we began considering the efficacy of AID:Tech’s blockchain technology and digital identity solution for addressing issues around international remittance entering Serbia.

As part of establishing an improvement framework around institutional investments for Serbia’s economy, there is growing interest in better understanding the financial inflow provided by the diaspora and how this experience can be improved to encourage engagement. There are more than 5 million Serbs living and working outside of Serbia across the world, who are remitting funds to Serbia regularly. However, there is no mechanism in place through which these are monitored and therefore no foundation to improve this investment potential.

Additionally, whilst remittance services available to the diaspora grows in availability and popularity, senders continue to bear high costs; the average cost of remittance per transaction is 7.68%.

Being presented with the issues, AID:Tech and UNDP began to conceptually investigate the theoretical feasibility of leveraging blockchain technology to address these issues from a technological perspective: whether blockchain technology can enabling transparency and traceability for service providers and policymakers, including public authorities by providing high-level insight into the landscape of international remittance in the context of Serbia. And whether a solution can improve the costs and user experience of international remittance for both senders and recipients.

This entry is a series of blog posts documenting AID:Tech’s journey in developing a remittance solution using blockchain technology with UNDP Serbia and other partners. Follow us on Medium to get the most up to date story.

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