Development of an automated and integrated registration system, meeting modern data management systems, is a key element to realizing integrity of citizen identification documentations.
From the scanty information available within the media, it is difficult to understand the scope of the proposed project, how much it will integrate data, what it intends to cure and most importantly the integrity of the entire system from abuse by those managing it.
The overall undisclosed cost would be another key aspect which will determine whether or not the project will succeed.
But that is as good as the proposed project can be. The rest, if not addressed well, will strangle it before it takes off. The issues can be summarized as follows;
First, the casual manner such a massive project was announced and the scanty details released at a consultative meeting between Mr Ruto and officials of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) confirmed the government has nothing substantive yet.
It was therefore not surprising that it was reported that a technical committee between the Ministries of ICT and Interior is working on the details which position begs answers on whether or not the announcement was either premature or speculative.
Second, Kenyans have not been told what exactly went wrong with a similar project where the IEBC was not too lucky with the Biometric Voter Register (BVR) after registering over 14 million people.
Public trust levels in such projects is fairly low given the unmet pledges on new generation ID’s and security passports.
Third, registering voters is anchored on different legislations as compared with registration of persons. The formats could also slightly vary.