Project Includes US$29.15 Million to Build Robust National Identification System
On October 22, 2013, the World Bank Board of Directors approved US$97 million to support Ghana s on-going actions to improve the efficiency and coverage of government service delivery using Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
The proposed project is structured along four major components to reflect: (a) enabling environment for electronic government and business; (b) foundational systems for electronic
identification to promote electronic service delivery and social inclusion; (c) scaling up of ICT applications and services to improve services in priority sectors in Ghana; and (d) effective project management. Detailed project components are provided below:
Component 1 Enabling Environment for Electronic Government and Business (US$15.45 million)
This component will support policies, laws, regulations and institutional capacity building to stimulate supply and demand of electronic services with the help of a transparent, secure
and open environment, and will include revisions to the existing laws and regulations as may be necessary. On the supply side, it will support the enabling environment for digital
economy, including facilitating interventions for more efficient storage of electronic data, and opening up of data in a format that is usable by citizens for policy, research, and business
development. On the demand side, it will support better leveraging of digital platforms to create job and entrepreneurship opportunities. Details of sub-components are as follows:
Storage, Protection, and Opening up of Government Data (US$9.65 million) The project will support the development of, and increased access to, open government data with
the help of shared infrastructure, institutional development, and related policies and regulations. Project funds will finance the software and hardware for developing cloud storage
and a back-up facility that will be managed in partnership with the private sector. The new cloud infrastructure will be suitable for actively used data and will allow organizations such as the National Identification Authority, Births and Deaths Registry and other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), to have more security and control over their data. Project
funds will also support the development of administrative and institutional arrangements for data protection and electronic transactions as stipulated under the country s legislations.
Finally, project funds will finance development of policies, regulations, development of datasets, capacity building for data analytics, upgrade of any shared facilities for open data,
and the set up of certification authorities and public key infrastructure (PKI).
Support for Innovation Centers for Entrepreneurship and Job Creation (US$2.9 million) – The project will support promotion of an environment where entrepreneurs can
participate in launching new products and services, scaling up e-applications and services, and increasing uptake of e-applications. Project funds in the form of grants will be provided to
strengthen the entrepreneurial and job-creation potential of the country through the development of innovation hubs, including mHubs and mLabs. Innovation hubs will support
young entrepreneurs in Ghana s mobile industry through venture incubation, business and skills development, and will foster multinational and global partnerships. To ensure
sustainable operations, infoDev will act as a technical adviser through the course of project implementation and will provide technical support in the design of the innovation hubs
including the governing structure, management, networking, and performance monitoring.
Institutional Capacity Building for Policy and Regulatory Institutions (US$2.9 million)
The sub-component will provide support for a gap analysis of the legal and regulatory environment to support electronic applications, and necessary capacity building to key policy
and regulatory institutions in areas including content, citizen and cybersecurity, consumer protection, and data protection. Regulating new information and content is a potential
challenge for today s policymaking agencies and regulatory authorities in an increasingly converged ICT industry. Regulation of content pushes the boundaries of the traditional role of
a telecommunications regulator. The unique role of broadcast signals, for example, is rapidly disappearing amidst the world of convergence and the deluge of alternative content sources
and transmission media. Issues such as spectrum management, consumer protection in the commercial mobile and digital space, and protection of increasingly sophisticated networks
and infrastructure present new challenges for both policy makers and regulators. Regulators and policy makers have to decide on what or what not to regulate, how to use/manage scarce
resources such as spectrum, and how to incentivize further development of the ICT marketplace. The project will support capacity building of policy and regulatory institutions
in Ghana to develop necessary capacity to define standards, policies and relevant regulations to protect both government and citizens Component 2 Support for Upgrading National Identification System and Online Verification Services (US$29.15 million)
This component will provide support to develop a robust national identification system based on international standards to help prepare Ghana for a modern e-commerce industry,
improved e-government services, and alleviate poverty. Support will also be extended to selected agencies and institutions in adopting electronic identification and verification
services into their operating processes. The project will assist the government to link key agencies, including the Births and Deaths Registries, the Department of Social Welfare,
Electoral Commission, Statistics Department, Social Security and National Insurance, Immigration, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), etc., using the national
identification number as a common identifier. Details under this component are as follows:
Support for a National Electronic ID System (US$21.45 million) The National ID system, in its current form with 2D Bar code, has limitations in terms of durability and ability
to store information. It also does not conform to some of the specifications provided by international organizations, such as ICAO, ISO and ANSI. The limitation is also preventing a
number of potential user agencies, including the financial institutions, from using the current ID card, the Ghanacard. The sub-component will therefore support the government of Ghana
to complete implementation and deployment of a well-functioning national electronic ID system. The project will support distribution of 12 million biometric cards, including 3 million
cards that have already been printed and 9 million cards that will be printed once citizen data is confirmed. The project will review and update the back-office systems and processes under
NIA to ensure that the electronic ID system is properly functioning and the central office interacts seamlessly with field offices and downstream agencies. To improve the speed and
reduce the cost of distribution of cards, project funds will finance the deployment of mobile registration workstations, mobile verification systems and related software. Project funds
will also support an integrated solution that ensures that new Ghanacards meets international standards. This will include upgrades of: i) the identification system (e.g. Automated
Fingerprint Identification System, or AFIS, that allows capturing of 10 instead of the current 4 fingerprints), ii) data center and disaster recovery center, iii) equipment (e.g. printers for smart cards), and iv) instant issuance printers to allow on the spot printing of electronic Identification cards. For more efficient operation of the Authority itself, project funds will
support the development of a needs assessment, a strategic/business plan and an implementation plan for the National ID Authority.
Support for Digitization and Integration of Digital Identity and Verification Systems into User Agency Operations (US$7.7 million) – A prerequisite for effectively integrating a
national identity system is digitizing related paper-based public records such as birth and death certificates, and tax records. The project will support digitization of records at key user agencies such as the Births and Deaths Registry, the Registrar Generals, the Ghana Revenue Authority, and Immigration Services. The opportunity exists to collaborate with the
Rockefeller Foundation to scale up the digitization program. There is also potential to use the ten regional innovation centers which were built under the eGhana project, as possible venues
for carrying out or administering the digitization work from the districts. The digitization program offers unique employment opportunities for the youth to scan, index, and
electronically manage paper records, and to set up searchable and easy-to-use electronic databases. Project funds will also support key user agencies in the public sector to adjust their operating processes and software systems to use e-ID verification services offered by the NIA system. Support to such agencies will be in form of limited equipment, upgrade of databases, and related capacity building. All of these agencies are expected to use the National Identification number as a common identifier.
Component 3 – Scale up of Applications to improve service delivery in priority sectors (US$41.55 million) In response to the government s request, project resources will also be used to support use of ICT to improve quality and reach of services in the health and education sectors where the
Government of Ghana is lagging in achieving MDG goals, as well as to complete key eapplications currently being implemented under eGhana project. The project sub-components are as follows:
Support for Integrated e-Health System in Ghana (US$4.0 million) The Ministry of Health has already prepared a comprehensive scan of e-Health solutions and platforms in the country. The project will build on this work to develop a more detailed strategy for using ICT solutions to improve delivery of health services in Ghana. The strategy will aim to consolidate, map and synergize existing infrastructure, systems and solutions (both from the public and private sectors) used for connectivity and e-applications, and recommend a more integrated and interoperable approach for e-Health/mobile-Health. The project will also provide connectivity to priority district and regional health centers in the less developed parts of Ghana. The project will further support the set up of three medical call centers in collaboration with the private sector to provide first response to citizen inquiries about medical and healthcare issues in remote and rural parts of Ghana. The first response may entail providing healthcare advice and giving referral to appropriate health specialists and health centers. In cases of emergencies, the first response may coordinate an emergency response with ambulatory services and healthcare providers. The project will also support digitization of medical records at selected teaching hospitals.
Teachers Network, Educational Portal and capacity building (US$8.05 million) The project will work with the various teachers associations to support the development and
maintenance of an educational portal where teachers, students, parents and researchers can have access to good practice lesson plans, curricular content, teaching and learning aids, online
advice, research etc. The Portal could also be a platform for knowledge exchange with national and international networks and for participation in relevant discussion forums. In
collaboration with the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Center and other international trainers as needed, project funds will also support intensive training to teachers as a part of a top-up
teacher training for new and existing teachers in the use of computer/internet aided education (beyond ICT literacy). The project will provide connectivity to the least developed 200
Support for e-Services (US$1 million) The project will build on shared pilot e-service applications provided under the eGhana project which included: (i) content management
application for hosted services on online portals; (ii) payment gateway to enable electronic payments for online services; (iii) electronic form application to collect citizen information;
and (iv) applications to electronically manage documents. Project Funds will support expanded services from these institutions such as online applications for permits and licenses,
visas, National ID Cards for Ghanaians resident and abroad, and other services.
Support for existing e-Applications (US$28.5 million) This sub-component will be aimed at completing e-government applications for 4 key agencies and departments under the
eGhana project for which procurement packages have already been completed and funding is not available or inadequate under the eGhana project. State-of-the-art technology relevant to
Ghana will be used to simplify administrative and business processes within and between agencies. Project resources will finance the hardware, software and institutional capacity
building for the implementation of: i) an e-Parliamentary System (US$3.5 million) which will allow a paperless flow of information, ii) e-Justice system (US$5 million)- which will
improve on the effectiveness and efficiency of justice delivery in Ghana with support to the Ghana Judicial Service and the Ministry of Justice and the Attorney General s office, iii) e-
Procurement (US$5 million) which will provide a single platform for e-Sourcing , e-Tendering , and e-Purchasing , iv) and an e-Immigration system (US$15 million) which
will improve immigration and border control services in Ghana. e-Immigration is in implementation phase and the tender documents for the remaining 3 e-applications have been
Component 4 Project Management Support (US$7.1 million) – The Ministry of Communication (MoC) will serve as the Project executing agency with overall responsibility for the management of the project. Given the multi-sectoral nature of the project, the Ministry will work with relevant sector agencies for the effective implementation of the project. The MoC has had extensive experience in implementing the eGhana Project through a dedicated Project Implementation Unit which is complemented by a core group of technical specialists from the National IT Agency (NITA) and the ITeS Secretariat. The PIU and technical specialists have managed the day-to-day implementation and supervision of the enabling environment, e-Government and ITES components, as well the financial management, procurement, disbursement, monitoring and evaluation, progress reporting and communication functions. It is expected that the project will leverage the expertise of these experts. Project funds will support the implementation team for the overall project
coordination and management, and will provide communication, procurement, financial management, and M& E. Additional resources will be provided to strengthen capacity as needed. In addition, and in view of the innovative and transformative nature of the project, project funds will be allocated to documenting successes and failures, as well as the impact of the project on project beneficiaries.