Hack the Future of Development Aid

Report
from Government of Denmark
Published on 12 Dec 2017 View Original

Can Blockchain improve development? – New report highlights opportunities and dilemmas!

Blockchain has the potential to renew development cooperation and humanitarian aid, among other things by using crypto currency and digitalizing contracts and rights and thereby deliver development in a new and potentially more effective way. That is the conclusion in a report released today by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the think tank Sustainia and blockchain currency platform Coinify.

According to the new report, “Hack the Future of Development Aid”, development cooperation and humanitarian aid organizations can by using the opportunities of blockchain technology perhaps wave goodbye to paper contracts and slow transactions. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has asked Sustainia, who has written the report, to present the potential of finding new solutions for development challenges by using blockchain. The report emphasis among other things that by using crypto currency money can be transferred faster and safer to the hot spots of the world. In addition, contracts and other legal papers can be digitalised to combat corruption and ensure a more effective development aid and better protection of the rights of marginalized groups.

The Danish Minister for Development Cooperation, Ulla Tørnæs, says:
“There is huge opportunities in bringing the technological development into play in development cooperation. The use of Blockchain and crypto currency is merely some of the technologies, which can give us new tools in the development cooperation toolbox. It is clear that if we are to succeed in relation to the sustainable development goals we need digital and technological solutions and some of these we do not know of, but we will help find them. Denmark is at the forefront when it comes to innovation – also in the development cooperation. That is why I am proud to present this report.”

From slow kroner to fast crypto currency

One of the recommendations of the report, or so-called “hacks”, is about using blockchain technology to enable a fast transfer of money without middlemen and fees. By using crypto currency as a support agent development aid can be transferred directly from Denmark to recipients in poor countries. Denmark could therefor consider being the first donor country to transfer aid by using crypto currency, the report says.

Mark Højgaard, CEO and Co-founder of Coinify explains: “With crypto-aid solution, we foresee that issues like corruption will drop significantly, as money will be easy to track and transactions remain completely transparent.”

In other words, high-speed digital money means less corruption and more lives saved. Project leader from Sustainia, Marianne Haahr, explains:

“Crypto and crisis is a perfect match, and aid organizations will undeniably be able to respond quicker using blockchain-based digital money, which arrives at email-speed, safely and transparently. The big challenge now is to disrupt the aid model. First step is to build trust in blockchain and its ability to facilitate all aspects of aid, next step is to disrupt the whole aid system.”

Blockchain is a new weapon in the fight for human rights and combating corruption

The report also recommends that development and humanitarian organisations use blockchain when promoting human rights. Land rights and anticorruption are examples that are mentioned in the report. India for example sees blockchain as a tool to combat the country’s land register bribes (which amounts to a staggering 700 million USD). In relation to the rights aspect, the benefit from blockchain is that the individual owners have control over their own rights data – if it is land, health information or education.

The report is presented Thursday 14th December 2017 in the UN City Copenhagen, and is freely available for download on the website of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs from Thursday 14th.

For more information, please contact:
Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Marie Dørup Olesen, mardor@um.dk / +45 61979020
Sustainia: Marianne Haahr, maha@sustainia.me / +45 31 64 10 10
Coinify: Lenka Hudavoka, lhu@coinify.com / +45 31 47 49 59