Basic Information

Solution Name

IDLand: a Digital ID system Game


A game to “vaccinate” stakeholders on the bad practices of digital identification systems.


In the social impact game Digital ID you take on the role of a stakeholder in the verge of implementing a digital identification system. You enter the shadowy world of unifying personal data records of all your citizens, as a way to increase public service delivery, promote public-private partnerships, and reducing costs. The task however is not free of challenges: massive data breaches, exposition of vulnerable groups, digital exclusion. If only you knew beforehand what could go wrong? And be rewarded for that. That is the purpose of our game.

We believe that when policy makers decide to implement digital identification system they have good in their heart. They want to make public service more accessible, enhance people’s lives and generate public value. But challenges, particularly those related to privacy and security, are not always used as default principles. We want to address this knowledge gap by providing an innovative "vaccine" that shows policy makers, civil society members and others on how policy decisions can great better or worst  digital identification systems.

Our game is inspired by other award policy-oriented games, such as Bad News and Rubbish, as well as hubs of policy innovation games such as Developing Beyond and Digital Liberties. We simulate lessons learnt from the real-world to provide a ‘safe space’ for those doing and criticizing digital identification systems on the pros and cons of decisions taken.

In the game you have to decide upon the technical design and system governance. You also need to check if legislation is on your side, and how civil society and private sector will react. You will face the consequences of your actions, be required to remedy unexpected events, and be rewarded for decisions that go well. Years of academic and policy research are used in the game development to aid decision makers to learn from lessons learned, at every click.

Living in the shoes of one of 3 personas (member of the executive, legislator, and civil society activist) you have to take decisions to implement a digital identity system in our imaginary country: IDLand. You will have to choose if you live in a developing or a least developed country, and take it from there. After each decision you gain or lose points in efficiency and privacy. Achieving greatness in both standards is your goal.

At the end of the 10 to 15-minutes game, IDLand can be a country that fits your ideas, where citizens have full access to public services with a low cost digital identity system, or a country where few people have an ID, and broadly exposed to threats of the digital world. To avoid that, you must earn the badges of the game: privacy by design; security by design; inclusion by design; government as a platform; and interoperability. IDLand, a country that could concentrate 1 billion people that lack an ID, depend on you.

Elevator pitch:

Solution location:

Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

We address all challenges, what are tenets of the game.

Solution's stage of development:

About Your Solution

What makes the solution innovative:

Policymakers are increasingly tasked with solving ever greater challenges, emergence of unpredictable events, regulatory changes, and new market business models. Ideally capacity building activities would remedy that, but resources are scarce.

We believe that simulation, or the imitation of a real-world process, system or actor for the purpose of experimentation, is a feasible and scalable up way to address this challenge. Our game connects real-world lessons, academic expertise, and lessons from our own digital ID system (Mudamos), used by 700k users, to a ‘safe space’ that provides a smarter, inclusive and dynamic way to capacitate policymakers.

How the solution demonstrates 'privacy by design':

All the user's journey in the whole game demonstrates solutions of ‘privacy by design’. Along the game play our simulation addresses the known benefits and challenges of implementation an ID systems.

For example, at early stages of the game you have to decide what technology to use in your ID system. You can choose the same architecture already in use since the 1990s, based on a centralized architecture, or you can choose to hear more about a decentralized solution, based on ‘blockchain’.

In spite of your choice, you will be shows differences between both architectures, pros and cons, and how tokenization, minimal personal data collection, user access portal and traceable authentication may improve your system. And as a result, you will win badges for that, and see the impact of your decision on system efficiency and privacy standards. All stories coming from real-world events, country decisions, and real-citizens stories impacted by similar decisions.

The simulation not only aids players to understand the role of privacy by design principles, but also helps them to anticipate the future implications of a new policy or an emerging technology, adopting a proactive, rather than reactive, approach to plan for changes in their environment.

How the solution can be incorporated into digital identification systems:

Our game is based on a dynamic, text-based and mobile-friendly gameplay. We used as a key inspiration the game Bad News, and ideas gained at the IGL2018 event. As guidelines, we aim to deploy an online game that is: (a) designed to be easily translated to other languages, allowing it to grow beyond the three languages used as default, English, Spanish, French and Portuguese; (b) designed to be easily updated and adapted, allowing up to date and adjustable uses that can include expert training, museums installation, online uses and others; (c) designed to be used associated to capacity building initiatives, including the capacity to link reference materials, easy uses in slides presentations, and generation of active methodologies in courses class.

The versityle approach taken by was actually inspired in real events. In 2018 ITS hosted a major event in Brazil that made several government organizations interested in implementing our Good ID approach. We noticed however that we could be even more inclusive and effective if we have a scalable and cost effective tool to follow the leads. Our game is a solution to address this gap, present in particular in developing countries, and in already existing DID system teams.

How the solution is 'user-friendly':

IDLand is a game designed to be user-centred and with extremely ease of use. The gameplay is straightforward: you are presented with very short narratives, delivered in the format of cards, and is offered short and direct alternatives to what do next. Based on your choices, the game follows. The game is designed for policy makers, but is designed to simplify complex issues to general users. The game development includes usability workshops, and user-centred development frameworks, a project-development system we used recently to develop our chatbot to be used by citizens and security forces in Rio, Alda.

How the solution ensures interoperability:

Interoperability is a core concept of the project. Coded and documented in a CC license, open source, and designed as an inclusive capacity building product, IDLand can be easily adopted by third parties. For those with a technical capacity, translations and adaptations will be easily done. For those with low technology literacy, the game is designed for uses in classes and educational opportunities. As part of the project we also include capacity building online courses, were we aid the transfer of technology, and produce academic content to document the initiative in practice-oriented congresses and journals.

How the solution accounts for low connectivity environments and for users with low literacy and numeracy levels:

IDLand is an evidence-based game, supported by true stories. We will make sure that stories and challenges represented in the game are representative of vulnerable groups, and the 1 billion citizens who lack proper ID. For accessibility purposes, the game will include a text-to-audio function, and low bandwidth consumption (besides a downloadable mobile version, if necessary). Moreover, we will include minimal survey questions in the game, optional, that will help to map the region and background of players. At last, we will promote the game having a global-South and inclusion perspective in mind.

Vision over the next three to five years to implement or grow the solution to affect the lives of more people:

In three years we will expect to have disseminated the game in all international development agencies, and in five national contexts, achieving the following results: as a goal we propose to outreach 20 countries, group 20 thousand users representing at least 100 digital ID systems implementations. We also expect to be promoted in at least 5 knowledge hubs; reach at least 10 educational agreements to use/adapt our game; In five years time, we also expect to have inspired 3 other policy innovations, and host a voluntary expert group responsible for translation, update and expansion of the game.

About Your Team

How the solution team is organized:


Solution lead:


Solution leadership:


How many people work on the solution:


Solution age:

3-4 years

The organizations applicants are currently working with:

We are working with the Omidyar Network by researching the appropriate use of Good ID, with a focus on Latin America region, but connected to projects on Africa and Asia. We are supported by the a pool of organizations, including national and international foundations, to support the Brazilian government in implementing digital identification systems. These mainly supported by DLT technologies and a proper legal framework that ensures inclusion, privacy and security by design, including state and federal-level public DID system implementations.

Applicant skills that can attract the different resources needed to succeed and make an impact:

ITS is a non-profit research center located in Brazil. We are the leaders of the Network of Centers, and focus on the areas of rights and technology, public innovation, demotech and education.

Highlights of activities include the launch of Mudamos, our self-governance digital ID system, released in 2016 with support of the Google Social Impact Awards; our role in digital ID regulatory systems, including the development of privacy policies for a Good ID system developed in partnership with the World Bank; (c) the organization of the GovTech event focusing on the topic in the public sector of Brazil.

Revenue model:

ITS is non-profit organization supported by multistakeholder sources that include international and  national foundations, private sector institutions, foreign governments and self-generated revenues through courses. Most supports received by ITS are core support, and according to our institutional policies no funder can account for more than a fifth of our revenue. Our focus in to continuously increase the self-generation of revenue, that accounts for 10% of our last annual fiscal year, where the IDLand game is planned to be included.  

IDLand is a game free to use, with minimal running costs once deployed. The sustainability revenue model of the game is based on new uses and new editions of the game. That include for example (a) developing game versions specific for an institution or sector use (e.g. pension funds, or open banking initiatives); (b) adapting the game for specific capacity building uses (e.g. implementing the tool to other capacity building initiatives, or major educational tools); (c) running ITS courses on digital ID systems that use the game as a baseline for learning; (d) attract contracts to for in-site uses in museums, libraries and other case-specific events; (e) refinancing the methodology of the game to address other policy challenges.

Partnership Potential

Reason for applying to the Mission Billion Challenge:

We are guiding the digital identification development in Latin America and we are applying for the Mission Billion Challenge because we intend to continue playing this role.

We are developing research and implementing projects on digital ID in Brazil, and in the region. We are doing the work of testing, validating and scaling digital ID systems based on Good ID principles.

We need however to scale up, and having the support of the WB, in particular in such prestigious opportunity, is an occasion to receive guidance, criticism, financial support and publicity necessary bring our work to an even higher level.

Key barriers to the solution:

The main barrier to our project is attracting a wide audience to it. To overcome that we believe the WB award will help, and allow us to promote the following activities: (a) making partnerships with knowledge hubs of digital ID system, in particular those related to the DLT community; (b) signing MoUs with public service institutions, as ways to be used by existing educational activities; (c) promoting awareness in specialized media; (d) using ITS channels to create informative content; (e) applying for awards as a way to increase reputation.

Solution Team

  • Alexandre Barbosa Innovation researcher , Institute for Technology and Society (ITS)
  • FS FS
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