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Previous episodes:

EP 21: Morocco & Lesotho Reports

EP 20: South Africa & Lesotho Reports

EP 19: Nigeria & Rwanda Reports

A Positive Dialogue to Combat Negative Outcomes

Digital identity systems are generally accepted as positive tools for social good. Nevertheless, they can pose several dangers and cause significant concerns.

In this 3-Part LiveCast series, ID4Africa aims to give voice to the broadest spectrum of opinions on the risks and harms of ID systems and to start a positive dialogue on how to best guardrail these systems so that they are rendered responsible and resistant to exploitation and abuse from potential nefarious actors.

On Wednesday, Nov 17 we launch Part 1 of this Trilogy with a very strong 5-segment program that sets the overall stage for in-depth, well-balanced and factual dialogue. The aim is to not only sensitize the Community to the potential risks of ID systems but to identify concrete ways to mitigate them so that ID systems can only contribute to social good.

This latest multi-segment, multi-format LiveCast developed by Dr. Joseph Atick and the ID4Africa Production team, will feature the following segments:


Dr. Joseph Atick

Executive Chairman

Dr. Joseph Atick is a recognized world renowned advocate and expert on identity matters. Having been one of the founders of the identity industry nearly 30 years ago, he led several companies in that domain and developed some of the foundational algorithms underlying secure digital identity today, including the first commercially viable face recognition algorithm.

Dr. Atick retired from the industry in 2010 to focus on promoting identity for social and economic development around the world. In that mission he partnered with the World Bank and other UN agencies, and was heavily involved in the development and field testing of the methodology and analytic tools that would guide the subsequent activities in that space, and would lead to the launch of the ID4D initiative at the World Bank.

In 2014, he co-founded ID4Africa as a pan-African Movement to promote responsible digital transformations through digital identity in Africa. He is a staunch defender of privacy, data protection and human rights and continues to provide counsel to governments and international organization on the use of identity for public good. Dr. Atick holds a Ph.D. in Mathematical Physics from Stanford University.


Pam Dixon

Executive Director
World Privacy Forum


Theme: “When ID Systems Raise Concerns”

Pam is the Founder and Executive Director of the World Privacy Forum. An author and researcher, she has written respected and influential studies in the area of privacy, identity, biometrics, AI, data brokers, health privacy, and other topics.

Pam conducted substantive biometrics research in India, which formed the basis of a scholarly article analyzing India’s Aadhaar, biometrics, and EU-US data protection policy. Pam has written 8 books and is an expert advisor to OECD on AI.


Amber Sinha

Executive Director
The Centre for Internet and Society

Yesha Tshering Paul

Programme Officer
The Centre for Internet and Society


Rights & Risks Assessment of 10 African ID Systems

At the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS), Amber has worked on multiple case studies on the potential use of big data in governance in India, and the challenges it may pose in the future. He has also led the work on privacy in India at CIS over the last two years, and written extensively on the Aadhaar case and the Puttaswamy judgement. 

Prior to a life in public policy, Amber worked as a corporate lawyer. He started his career at Mindtree Ltd., where he helped build their free and open source software policy, and handled copyright and patent licensing. Amber also worked at Novojuris, where he led the startup advisory practice.

Yesha Tshering Paul is a Programme Officer at the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS), where she works on issues around digital identity. She studied Law at ILS Law College, Pune, and has a Masters in Regulatory Governance from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. She has previously worked in criminal law, parliamentary research, and policy research on the interplay of emerging technologies and civil liberties such as privacy, surveillance and misinformation in India.


Dr. Yevgeniy Sirotin

Technical Director
SAIC’s Identity and Data Sciences Laboratory


The Impact of Race & Gender on Biometric Performance

Yevgeniy Sirotin, Ph.D., is the Technical Director at SAIC’s Identity and Data Sciences Laboratory (IDSL), supporting the Department of Homeland security Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T). His work at IDSL focuses on measuring biometric technology performance.

Dr. Sirotin holds a doctorate in neurobiology and behavior from Columbia University and has published in the fields of mathematical psychology, neurophysiology, psychometrics, human factors, and biometrics.  His current research focuses on optimal human-algorithm teaming in biometric workflows and evaluating demographic effects in biometric performance.  He is currently a co-editor of a standard for measuring demographic effects in biometric systems (ISO/IEC 19795-10).

Understanding the Root Causes of Exclusion


Dorothy Mukasa

CEO & Team Leader
Unwanted Witness, Uganda

Dorothy Mukasa is a digital rights activist with Unwanted Witness Uganda, a civil society organization seeking for a free, open and secure Internet for activists, netizens, bloggers, journalists and writers as a platform for the realization of human rights and good governance. She has been instrumental in creating partnerships and connecting rural community journalists in Uganda. Dorothy is currently the Chief Executive Officer at Unwanted Witness Uganda.

Katelyn Cioffi

Research Scholar, Digital Welfare State and Human Rights Project

Katelyn Cioffi is a Research Scholar at the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at NYU School of Law, where she works on the Digital Welfare State and Human Rights Project. Katelyn’s research currently focuses on the digital transformation of the state, particularly the development of biometric digital ID systems and their impact on human rights and exclusion. Katelyn has experience in research and advocacy across a wide range of human rights issues, including economic and social rights, freedom of expression, and international justice, and has supported human rights litigation across various jurisdictions, including the United States, the European Court of Human Rights, and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.  

Christiaan van Veen

Director, Digital Welfare State and Human Rights Project

Christiaan van Veen is the Director of the Digital Welfare State and Human Rights Project at the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at New York University School of Law. Christiaan is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at NYU Law. His research focuses on the impact of government digitalization on human rights, especially in the area of the welfare state. From 2014 until 2020 he served as, first, senior advisor, and then special advisor on new technologies, to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. He has also been a consultant for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. He previously worked as an attorney for a top-tier law firm in the Netherlands, specializing in competition/antitrust law, telecommunications regulation and media law. Van Veen also worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and the European Commission, where he was involved in litigation before the Court of Justice of the European Union.  

Rosemary Kisembo

Executive Director
National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA)


Rosemary Kisembo is the recently appointed Executive Director of Uganda’s National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA), since May 15, 2021. She is an experienced software engineer and prior to her present role was Head of ICT at the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), a role she served in between 2016 and 2021.

At UNRA she also served as Manager for the Software Engineering department for 5 years. Before joining UNRA, Rosemary worked at the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) for over 20 years, serving in the Corporate Services department.

Lessons from 3 organizations working on the frontlines with the excluded

Cy Winter

Senior Immigration and Border Management Specialist, Southern Africa
International Organization for Migration (IOM)

As the Regional Thematic Specialist for Immigration and Border Management at IOM’s Regional Office for Southern Africa in Pretoria, Mr. Cy Winter is responsible for advising on and endorsing all IOM activities related to border management and facilitated migration in Southern Africa. He previously held the same position for the Americas at the Regional Office in San Jose, Costa Rica. There Mr. Winter organized the first technical exchange on the response to irregular arrivals of Venezuelans between the frontline border management officers of Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. He was on a special mission in Trinidad and Tobago as IOM’s Coordinator supporting the interview and registration (using MIDAS) of more than 16,000 Venezuelan migrants seeking work permits. His special assignment experience includes: Country Coordinator in Lebanon supporting the Canadian Admission of 25,000 Syrian refugees in 2016. Formerly the Chief of Mission in the Dominican Republic for six years where he led IOM’s support to the regularization of over 200,000 Haitian migrants. He has also worked on migration matters in Thailand, at the Guantanamo Naval Station, the Cayman Islands, the Turks and Caicos Islands and Nauru.

Mr. Winter is an international migration management and emergency specialist with over 20 years’ experience dealing primarily with irregular and emergency migration issues. He has extensive expertise in identity solutions, crisis response, situation analysis, policy recommendation, system development and implementation for emergency migration and camp management operations. He has thorough knowledge of biometric identification supported processing systems, mechanisms of international law enforcement cooperation and enhancing national border management measures.

Janaina Costa

Senior Researcher
Institute of Technology and Society (ITS), Rio de Janeiro

Janaina is a Senior Researcher at the Institute of Technology and Society (ITS) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She has an MSc in Social and Economic Development, Paris-1 Panthéon Sorbonne. She studied and completed a Post-grad Course in Digital Law (UERJ), and has a BA in Law from the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais. She works mainly in the areas of public policy, technology and human rights.

Institute for Technology & Society: The mission of the Institute for Technology & Society (ITS) is to ensure that Brazil and the Global South respond creatively and appropriately to the opportunities provided by technology in the digital age, and that the potential benefits are broadly shared across society. .

Mustafa Mahmoud

Senior Program Manager
Namati, Kenya

Mustafa MAHMOUD is the Senior Program and Advocacy Officer for Namati’s Citizenship Program. He has seven years’ experience supporting partner organizations working with community-based paralegals on Citizenship issues in Kenya, Bangladesh, Jordan, and Myanmar. Before joining Namati, he was the Program Manager at the Nubian Rights Forum, a Kenyan NGO, where he managed a team of seven paralegals assisting the Nubian ethnic minority in applying for citizenship documents. He is currently pursuing a degree in Development Studies at the University of Eastern Africa Baraton, Nairobi.

Special thanks to our Development Partners

This LiveCast is brought to you with the proud support of our development partners – The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Follow our Official Journalist for ongoing updates

Previous episodes:

EP 21: Morocco & Lesotho Reports

EP 20: South Africa & Lesotho Reports

EP 19: Nigeria & Rwanda Reports

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