Introduction to the ixo Protocol
The ixo Foundation is building a protocol to optimize the way impact is delivered, measured and evaluated in pursuing the 17 sustainable goals set out by the United Nations. By creating a Decentralized Impact Exchange, the parties involved in funding, delivering and evaluating the impact delivery can optimize the creation of new projects. The ixo protocol further optimizes the collection and evaluation of the impact data and creates impact data assets in a global ledger of impact data. By making this data available, while still protecting personal and sensitive data, impacts can be analyzed to release more funds for further impact delivery and improving the impact delivery itself.
The Process of Collecting, Measuring and Evaluating Impact Delivery
Currently, the processes for funding and delivering impacts are extremely diverse and inefficient. Funders often find it extremely difficult to track where their funds have gone and even whether the impact services were delivered correctly. Often large portions of the end to end process are burdensome and extremely expensive, so only a fraction of the initial funds actually make it to the ground. In addition the capturing of claim evidence is often paper based and this data is prone to getting lost and difficult to assess for further optimizations. This is particularly relevant considering that a large number of impacts are delivered in rural under developed areas where skills are limited and the management of the impact delivery paper records is extremely difficult.
The ixo protocol is the rails to optimize the creation of Impact Projects and then to streamline the collection and evaluation of the impact claims. The verified impact claims are then added to a global ledger of impact data which makes it available for analysis to optimize future projects.
How the ixo Protocol works
The Impact Project
The impact project manager defines the contract for the delivery of the impact work. There are three main parties involved: the funding agent provides the funding for the work, the service agents are responsible for the delivery of the impact work and the evaluation agents verify that impact work was delivered successfully. The ixo protocol provides access to a decentralized impact exchange where new projects can be setup with preconditions, so that parties with the correct capabilities can offer their services. In order to ensure that the impact data captured while fulfilling and impact project is consistent, an impact claim template is used which is based off semantic definitions to ensure cross project correlation of data terms. The claim template is defined and stored in a global template registry and selected when a contract is set up.
The Impact Claim Template
The impact claim template is normally compiled by the party who sets up the impact project and it is based on public schema definitions and standards. Each impact claim template is linked to one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. As service providers deliver the impact service, such as a vaccination, they capture data, normally via a mobile app, into the impact claim template. This could include information such as the barcode of the vaccination, information regarding the beneficiary of the vaccination etc. The app presents a form based off the impact claim template and the data captured by the service agent is then signed by the service agent and submitted to the ixo protocol as an impact claim set that is treated as an attestation that the service agent delivered the service
The Impact Claim Set
When the service provider submits the impact claim set, it is tokenized as an impact asset and added to a public global impact ledger. The impact asset only contains the impact claim data that may be publicly viewed, such as the type of impact and when and where it was delivered as well as the claim template used. All personal identifying data is not kept on the impact asset, but rather referenced by a link to that data with strict permissioning and access control. All personal identities are also linked to a decentralized digital identifier for that person.
Evaluation of Impact Claims
The impact claims are evaluated as per the impact contract, by evaluation agents. These evaluation agents can be people or bots and are responsible for the evaluation of the impact claim to determine whether it was delivered according to the contract or not. The process of evaluation can also pull in other data streams to augment the impact claim data and the evaluation result is signed by the evaluation agent.
Managing the Impact Delivery
As impact claims are submitted and evaluated, they are tracked as part of the impact contract. The delivery of impacts can be monitored by all parties involved through this process. Once sufficient contracts have been processed successfully to fulfill the contract, the contract completes automatically.
Technology Design Principles
- Decentralization ensures that the public global impact ledger is in the public domain and can be accessed by anybody to optimize future funding of impacts. Having this information publicly available will greatly improve the mechanisms for directing funding to the right initiatives to ensure the greatest impact. The ixo protocol uses blockchain technology to manage the global impact ledger.
- Provide open-source code, open systems and open-data to provide the tools, frameworks and APIs to easily integrate with the ixo protocol. The ixo protocol can be seen as the “rails” for processing and measuring impacts which facilitates the development of many innovative applications.
- Verified impact claims must be non-repudiable to ensure that nobody can dispute the validity that the impact was delivered and how it was evaluated. The ixo protocol makes use of cryptographic signatures to ensure that this information cannot be disputed.
- The privacy of personal data is paramount as a large amount of this data is very sensitive in nature. It must be controlled in such a way that it cannot be used for any purpose unless it is authorized for such use by the owners of that data. By making use of decentralized self sovereign identities, the personal information of all parties can be controlled by the owners of that data.
- Granular tracking of impact delivery so that the delivery of the impacts can be managed and tracked at an individual level through the ixo protocol. This greatly improves the visibility regarding the delivery process that is lacking today in many situations. By using smart contracts the collecting and evaluation of the impact claims is automated.
- All impact claims have provenance to ensure that the people and organizations involved in delivering the impact and the evaluations of those impact claims can be deduced. Each party involved in the impact claim signs their information using cryptographic signatures. This information can then be used to form new impact contracts by knowing the track record of the parties involved and how they performed.
The Nodes in the ixo Network
The ixo Network supports an open community that is focused on optimizing impacts for sustainable development, using trusted data. They run a public permissioned network of nodes. Network Custodians run validator nodes of the ixo compute and data storage infrastructure on their own servers and they earn IXO tokens from transaction fees. However anyone can host an ixo node in read-only mode, but only validator nodes have write-permissions to process and store Impact Claim data.
The ixo Protocol along with open source tools and frameworks provides the “rails” to collect, measure and evaluate impact delivery in pursuit of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. It does this using standards and blockchain technologies to ensure that the impact data collected is available to measure and provide future funding and to use the data to optimize the work. The “rails” provide the opportunity to build a wide range of innovative applications from new funding and contracting models to data visualization and impact monitoring applications.