Decentralized ID for Vulnerable Children and Households in Brazil

Piloting with Survive and Thrive Boa Vista (STBV), Early Childhood Development (ECD) Program Municipality of Boa Vista, State of Roraima, Brazil

Overview

We believe that no babies or toddlers should be left behind nor be denied access to early childhood development (ECD) services. iO2 and our partners, Municipality of Boa Vista, Boa Vista Center of Technology, Medicine College of Sao Paulo University and non-profit operation Cia Bola de Mela, aim to create an inclusive, secure, and trustworthy identification system to empower vulnerable children and households in Brazil to enhance their access to ECD services, and eventually eliminate neonatal mortality in the country. We also wish to use the system to strengthen the capacity of local government of Boa Vista, private sectors and NGOs to administer ECD programs and deliver ECD services more transparently, efficiently and effectively.

Read more:Blockchain for early childhood development: iO2’s pilot blockchain project in Brazil

Decentralized identification system

In Brazil, we are working with the Ministry of Social Development to assist their national ECD programs with data services to aid the delivery of neonatal ECD services to children faster and more responsively, with an ultimate goal to help scale to their 70 million beneficiaries nationwide. We begin by developing a decentralized identification (“DID”) system for pilot community project in Boa Vista to test how last-mile crypto-economics can feed data into decentralized applications (“DApps”) that not only tell project managers monitoring and evaluation metrics, but contain the means for automating the extraction of necessary data points to execute smart impact bonds.

iO2’s DID system can create huge savings for Boa Vista’s local government and citizens by reducing transaction costs, increasing efficiency, and driving innovation in service delivery, particularly to the poorest and most disadvantaged groups in the city. DID not only can facilitate program administration, but also can construct a better mechanism for civil registration. Civil registration is an important source of vital statistics and demographic information, which provide important data to support social and public health policy-making. With DID and improved civil registration, the Boa Vista government can monitor causes of death, maternal and infant mortality more efficiently in long run.

iO2 Team was visiting household in Boa Vista, Brazil.

DID’s implementation: 4 Stages

We’ve adopted a 4-stage approach to deploy and test the application of iO2’s DID system in Boa Vista. We estimate that the whole implementation process will be completed by the end of 2019. The four stages are:

  • Stage 1 — Indexing Local Data Readiness
  • Stage 2 — Building Frontline Digital Literacy
  • Stage 3 — Decentralized Beneficiary ID Registration DApp
  • Stage 4 — Stakeholder Data Cross-Validation

Purpose of Stage 1: Indexing the challenges and constraints for frontline data collection

Before deploying frontline data and blockchain solutions for ECD program in Boa Vista, it is important to firstly conduct an exploratory research and potential exploratory data analysis (“EDA”) on the local data infrastructure and data literacy. This research helps us understand the challenges and constraints for social problems to be digitally communicated. The following diagram shows how we index local data readiness. We measure data literacy and impact data readiness with multiple dimensions to help us understand how ready a community or program engagement is able to utilize digital tools and data to create bilateral data flows, that benefit the communities..

For us, this fundamental indexing of Data Readiness is requisite to making data-driven solutions like AI and blockchain meaningful to the piloting communities, without which data-dependent projects risk abject failure by misreading the nature of frontline engagement. In this process, we automate the measurement of access to data infrastructure, the ability of communities to access and gain value from data, and their desire to participate in such systems. This creates what we call the IDRI or Impact Data Readiness Index.

Building digital and data literacy in Stage 2

In stage 2, we use digital tools and applications to gain beneficiary-centered data to build capacity of defined data intermediaries in remote area. After collecting data from beneficiaries, we integrate different database into one data warehouse for off-chain storage that will be used for the blockchain network. We then create a “Blockchain for Social Development” curriculum for the frontline teams.

We have developed mobile device-enabled fieldkits to foster bilateral information flow between the end-beneficiaries and the cloud, making the process of data collection meaningful to beneficiaries because in return, they also receive insights that are useful to them in their daily lives and helps with long-term planning or behavior changes. The more beneficiaries engage in bilateral data exchanges, the more value they gain from providing more accurate data, and embody custodianship to validate the data integrity.

Decentralized point of registration lowers barriers to program access

More than 50,000 Venezuelan refugees or migrants has arrived in Brazil, fleeing an economic crisis and political strife in their country. Although the country has been generous in providing free health services and social protection to those yet without official identification documents, the majority of them live far away from social assistance centers, so they have to travel far for program registration. Physical distance and commuting expenses hinder the most vulnerable groups to sign up ECD services, hence, their families will not enroll into the program when ECD services are crucially needed.

Through decentralized beneficiary ID registration DApp , household members can register to ECD programs nearly anytime and anywhere on their mobile devices without having to go through time consuming, centralized, in-person registration procedures. This application will also become a direct communication and alert channel with all citizens with different social needs.

The UN Refugee Agency in Boa Vista.

Can DID become the basis for proof of impact?

We are researching and developing systems for how the above DID process, powered by crowd-validation, can become the basis for Proof of Impact. In the case of last-mile data validation, Proof of Impact requires the network of end-beneficiaries to power the oracle that supplies data onto blockchain. Not only can this disintermediate third party auditors that have little to no expertise in measuring the specific context of social development, but can also provide the opportunity to organically grow inclusive crypto-economics that incentivize beneficiaries and their communities to increase involvement in impact validation, either actively or passively.

We welcome your involvement and potential R&D collaboration to this project. Join our Telegram group (https://t.me/io2_impact_oxygen) and share your thoughts with iO2.


About Impact Oxygen Foundation (iO2)

Impact Oxygen Foundation, iO2, is a decentralized autonomous organization for crowd-enhanced impact investment on the blockchain, underpinned by iO2 Token which incentivizes the communities to provide trusted data for impact measurement. Since 2015, the iO2 team has successfully developed and executed over a dozen social impact projects in China via its service platform named “ShanZhai City” (shanzhaicity.com), and now are engaging blockchain-based projects in Myanmar, Laos, Thailand and Brazil.

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