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During the High-Level Conference on Opening up to an era of Social Innovation that took place last year in Lisbon, Gianluca Misuraca, Senior Scientist at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (JRC-IPTS), announced the Winners of the IESI Award.

The award was divided into three categories:

  • Best Evidence of Impact
  • Most Promising Solution
  • Active & Healthy Ageing

AID:Tech won the first prize in the second category, Most Promising Solution. AID:Tech is based in Ireland and UK and, after a successful pilot in Lebanon in 2015 is now available globally, to all organisations that work for refugees. AID:Tech provides digital ID solutions and other linked digital services.

While the ultimate beneficiaries of the digital services offered by AID:Tech are refugees, their digital/smart ID cards are developed and designed for aid organisations. Aid agencies can in fact set up these electronic ID cards with all the required information for providing social assistance and inclusion throughout all the asylum process. Services included in the smart ID card consist in health records, social services entitlements, list of family members, language requirements and secure electronic cash vouchers that refugees can for their daily expenditures. The card allows the refugees to prove their identity quickly and efficiently, and it may also help to expedite the asylum process.

The Proof of impact comes from the pilot project and related study conducted in 2015 in Lebanon. AID:Tech, together with the Irish Red Cross delivered $10,000 from private donors to 100 Syrian refugee families. Partnerships with local shops and supermarkets in Tripoli and North Lebanon were formed so that refugees were able to use their vouchers. In total 500 digital vouchers of 20$ each were delivered to the refugee families. All transactions were closely monitored by the Irish Red Cross.

Today, over 2 billion people are living without access to formal financial services, and 2.4 billion are living without a legal identity. Both the private and public sectors are raising concerns on the inefficient and non-legal practices that directly impact progress in social and financial inclusion around the world. AID:Tech is an example of cutting-edge technology delivering tangible solutions to real problems. It provides security, traceability and scalability of payments in places and markets that traditional banks and payment providers cannot reach and will not cover. AID:Tech helps the world’s charities and aid agencies to deliver life-saving sources, through socially progressive finance, to those that are in real need.