As connectivity within South-East Asia grows, it is critical for governments to put in place frameworks and mechanisms to leverage these developments and increase the use of digital platforms, while ensuring that there is proper governance, trust and authentication measures to support the development of the digital economy.

Often considered the foundation of a digital economy, the creation of a digital identity system is critical to enable every person to fully participate in their society and economy. Without proof of identity, people may be denied access to rights and services – such as the ability to open a bank account, attend school, access health services, collect social benefits, seek legal protection or otherwise engage in modern society.

This report explores in Chapter One a brief history UNCTAD’s 2030 TrainForTrade Development Account Project. Chapter Two gives an overview of some of the national strategies undertaken in South-East Asia in the implementation of a digital identity. Chapter Three presents seven selected case studies prepared by the Project’s participants, covering the relevant legal and policy frameworks and/or current status of Digital ID development in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and the Philippines. The following selected case studies provide succinct examples of good practices as well as policy recommendations for further development of a National Digital Identity Framework. Chapter Four concludes the publication with a list of recommendations.