Back in April, Yoti launched a Fellowship Programme to help people in the developing world to share their own perspectives on digital identity. The company made an open call for project submissions, vowing to fund three of them to the tune of £30,000.
Just over two months later, the applications window is closed and Yoti is sharing some of the lessons it learned from the process after receiving more than 120 submissions from upwards of 30 different countries. The biggest takeaway concerns the Programme title, which did not include the words ‘digital identity.’ As a result, many of the submissions related to agriculture and the environment rather than digital identity and fell outside the scope of the Programme.
That allowed Yoti to whittle the number of submissions down to a short list of 54 applicants representing 26 different countries, of which 34 percent were women. The project pitches ranged from documentaries to research papers to websites, with some examining national identity programs that have already been implemented and others that were still in the planning stage.
The winners (and the waiting list) will be selected by the end of the month, while the projects are scheduled to begin at the end of August. In any case, the breadth of the submissions speaks to the success of Yoti’s Programme. The company reported that word of mouth was the most effective means of sharing the opportunity, but plans to ask people how they found out about the Programme to refine its approach and extend its reach in future years.
The Fellowship Programme is part of Yoti’s ongoing mission to develop socially conscious digital identity solutions. Last year, the company published research examining the digital needs of people in Africa and Southeast Asia.
July 2, 2019 – by Eric Weiss