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Compendium of Good Practices in Identity Management in the OSCE Region


The Compendium combines the perspectives of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR)’s work on identity management and freedom of movement, and the OSCE Transnational Threats Department’s work on travel document security. It is the result of consultations initiated in 2013, and the subsequent process has included a series of expert meetings and a detailed questionnaire distributed to all OSCE participating States in August 2016.


The Compendium is intended for the use of identity management practitioners and policymakers who are exploring options to improve their national identity management infrastructure as a whole or some of its individual components. The benefit of the Compendium comes from the wealth of information it provides in a structured and analytical format about the characteristics of identity management systems in OSCE participating States.

The Compendium has several objectives:

  • Sharing the latest trends in the OSCE region when it comes to the way participating States approach identity management: obviously, a certain body of knowledge already exists; however, identity management is a dynamic area, as countries develop and respond to new threats and challenges, making it vital to keep information up to date;
  • Identifying new trends and challenges: as mentioned, countries are developing their systems for identity management and are coming up with new solutions. In this context, it is important to analyse existing trends and discuss the gaps and inconsistencies that exist among various regions or countries. A special focus is placed on digitization, which allows for faster data processing and more efficient verification. At the same time, there is a growing need to ensure that personal data is properly protected;
  • Mapping available models of identity management: nowadays, there are many countries that have successfully implemented various models of identity management. While there is no one universal model that is applicable to every country, it is important to discuss some of the best practices and identify the pros and cons of each of them; and
  • Putting a particular focus on the prevention of identity fraud: identity fraud is the main threat to the integrity of the entire identity management framework. The more a system is exposed to fraud, the less overall trust the public will have in the process, including its international dimension: in the context of increasing global mobility, a well-functioning national identity management system is no longer sufficient for preventing identity fraud; instead, a global or at the very least a regional approach is necessary.