Rethinking The NID: Inclusion, Data Justice, and Tech Solutionism
PODS by PEISeptember 19, 2023x

Rethinking The NID: Inclusion, Data Justice, and Tech Solutionism

#Ep.065 The National Identity Card Project, an effort to digitize nationality through the distribution of a biometric-informed electronic card, began as part of Nepal’s e-Governance mission back in 2008. After years of delay, the NID is now in full swing, with almost 10.3 million individual data collected so far. Although the government initially touted the project for upholding Good Governance, many critics are now pointing out the gaps in implementation surrounding inclusion, data security, and more. In this episode, PEI’s Khushi Hang sits with researcher and activist Neha Gauchan to explore Nepal's National ID program within the context of digitization in governance. They trace the development of the project, highlighting key actors and events that have come under scrutiny. They then evaluate risks and vulnerabilities in the project and digitization of governance in general, with a particular focus on inclusion, data security, data justice, and tech solutionism. Neha Gauchan is a feminist indigenous human rights activist. She currently coordinates the Knowledge Generation program at Body & Data, where she is involved in research on Digitizing Identity in Nepal. Previously, she worked in the field of digital rights with a primary focus on children. Neha has a Master's in Human Rights and Democratization from Manila University. If you liked the episode, hear more from us through our free newsletter services, PEI Substack: Of Policies and Politics , and click here to support us on Patreon!!


Policy Entrepreneurs Incorporated (PEI) is a policy research center based in Kathmandu. Our team brings in the essential local expertise and experience to deliver impactful results that support inclusive and sustainable growth in Nepal. Through our collaborations with national and international partners, we offer evidence-based insights and engage with decision-makers in the public, private, and social sectors to help them make informed decisions.


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