Caraga Convergence Initiative: Digital Identities for Indigenous People
The Philippines is home to an estimated 14-17 million indigenous people (IP), with the Caraga region’s indigenous people who are estimated to be over 500,000. Unfortunately, they have no identity and no inherent rights, so they are not included in the national census that results in political and economic exclusion. This results in an inherent poverty status, with no access to medical services or proper education and communities located in the most remote areas of the region. The Caraga indigenous community remains excluded from Mindanao’s economic progress. To this day, the Caraga region is considered to be among the poorest regions in the Philippines. That is about to all change with digital identity registration that will provide a foundation of inclusive social and economic growth.
One of the most difficult and fundamental problems facing the Caraga indigenous community is being undocumented and invisible in terms of having no established identity for institutional recognition. This lack of credentials extends to registration in both local and civil levels of registry. From birth certificates, indigenous community remain undocumented. When communities remain isolated, they are not within the scope of community development plans of the government and non-profit organizations.
The Caraga Convergence Initiative will initiate this program, to record and register all members of the Caraga indigenous community that includes each member of the family, the elderly, the ones that need long-term medical aid and the children that need education and nutrition. Through an upcoming technology known as Digital Identities, the Caraga indigenous people will have a permanent set of records that will be collaborated upon by the government, non-government units and non-profit organizations for planning future development efforts.
The disenfranchised peoples of the Philippines must be empowered in order to build a peaceful, productive, prosperous future for themselves and their families. The challenges of humanity are daunting, but if enough brilliant people can converge to create conversations and collaboration for change, there is great hope for the future.
This is the vision of program sponsors Global Action Platform and Global Partnership for Sustainable Solutions (GPSS). in partnership with DynaQuest with the Humanility foundation will conduct the pilot phase of the Digital Identities for the Caraga from November 26-30, 2018 that will identify and record the families and members of the remote Caraga indigenous communities.