Australian Red Cross (ARC) has a mission to reduce human suffering through people helping people. ARC engaged with TypeHuman with a focus to test whether blockchain could be used to better coordinate the identification of volunteer and humanitarian workers, and whether there existed a commercial product offering for the ARC within this opportunity space.
Typehuman undertook organisational and market research to understand how the attributes of a decentralised identity system could enhance the mobilisation efforts of the humanitarian sector. As the opportunity to enable a better volunteering credential issuance was validated, Typehuman entered into a co-venturing partnership with the Australian Red Cross. This progressed into technology development, leveraging a blockchain based approach to identity that makes it easier for individuals to prove their credentials to humanitarian organisations, and drastically increase the capacity of the humanitarian sector to onboard individuals into humanitarian roles.
More specifically, TypeHuman was engaged to:
1. Determine whether the aspiration was technicall feasible
2. Customer research & insights
3. Product strategy, development and roadmap.
4. Business case and go-to-market
5. Humanitarian Blockchain Consortia strategy & convening
The solution we designed and developed from pilot to production is called Ponto. Ponto is a digital credential platform aimed at reducing the structural barriers surrounding humanitarian action in Australia. It does this by allowing organisations to issue and verify decentralised credentials in the form of a badge, such as a humanitarian response training or first-aid credential. Badges are stored in a digital wallet on web or phone, and leverage blockchain in order to reduce the cost of integration by humanitarian organisations, and broaden the availability of credentials available.
The strength of the Ponto product is that it allows users to register their identity and upload certifications whilst retaining control of their data and information. Users choose who they share their credentials with. Based on the open digital identity standards that we have built to, this self-sovereign identity solution is private, portable, persistent and personal. Ponto is now in production, with real volunteers using the product.
We understand that the effort to mobilise the humanitarian sector does not only require technological solutions. Advancing the adoption of this identity standard requires human coordination across organisations.
The Ponto partnership has led to the formation of an initial humanitarian digital identity alliance called “The Trust Alliance”. The next step is the on-boarding of other humanitarian organisations, to also issue and recognise humanitarian volunteering credentials, to work towards the sharing of volunteering credentials across organisations. Founding members of the Trust Alliance include Australian Red Cross, Oxfam Australia, RedR Australia, EWB-A, Bridge of Hope, Swinburne University, and RMIT University.
The product itself has successfully received external investment and the reusable components of Ponto allows the identity solution developed to be applied to other use cases which require portable, self-sovereign credential solutions.
Together with Australian Red Cross, we have successfully delivered one of the first blockchain identity pilots in Australia. We have reimagined the humanitarian movement with careful consideration of the role of data protection, information security, data access and rights, and privacy in the sector. According to the International Federation of the Red Cross, these risks require a concentrated effort across the private sector, governments and civil society if they are to be mitigated.