Jaap van der Straaten: Plutocratic State. Elite privilege and bungled identity management at the jugular of democracy in Ghana. (Includes a critical re-assessment of “m-birth”)
1/11/2021 – 08:53
“Plutocratic State” provides a view of the present state of identity management in Ghana, while it includes a reassessment of a project (“m-birth”) for the application of the mobile phone to civil registration. The paper concludes that identity management covering civil registration, national ID project and election administration is in a perilous state. With respect to mobile phone use the aid community has failed to adequately manage projects and document lessons for learning. A potentially powerful digitisation tool for civil registration improvement towards better, including more equitable, coverage has so been put at risk of being discarded. Ghana’s decision to decentralise civil registration is counterproductive and risks to not only be deleterious for civil registration but have a second order negative effects on the national ID project, on citizenship (and legal identity) as well as on democracy.