πŸ₯‡First use case for DPI

How should a country choose a killer use-case to get exponential scale up for a DPI building block?

If you’ve chosen which DPI block you would want to build, congratulations! The first step is done. Now, the second important question is, which use case do you want to pilot that DPI in?

For example, if you have decided to build verifiable credentials, your first use case can be making verifiable credentials for school certificates, or farmer certificates or driving licences and so on. For G2P mapper, this would mean choosing which social benefit program do you want to pilot with - pensions or gas subsidies or scholarships? For an AI assistant this could mean choosing which sector you would want to simplify first - is it access to justice, or agricultural extension services for farmers, or health scheme and insurance information?

And in case you are wondering if the first use case really matters - the answer is a resounding yes! Through the first case, you will be able to establish proof of concept and proof of success of the DPI approach in your country for that block as a whole. It is a critical move that will align different stakeholders as well as individuals of the country at large with the new DPI method of doing things. Uber launched in most emerging economies with Mercedes cars; the first impression matters and should build immediate traction to solve a pain point..

Below are three simple questions that you can answer to lead you to choosing a powerful first use case for your DPI block.

Which use-case is…

  1. Regularly used by individuals as a β€˜toothbrush’ use? Or addressing a big-enough pain point?

For example, do people regularly need to show their income certificates to get access to various programs and there is no way to verify them? Is the pension scheme a large enough program through which money is transferred every month but there is no way to map the accounts it is going to? If this is true, then it is a good first use-case! On the other hand, converting school certificates into verifiable credentials (that someone may hardly use in their lives) is not necessarily a powerful first step. Try to select a use-case that addresses the daily needs of the common man. This way there will be a big enough pain point that people are willing to try something new in order to find an easier way to navigate that situation, and the willingness to adopt the DPI will be higher.

  1. Covering large amounts of the population?

It is ideal if the use-case has a large enough coverage in the country so that it can create meaningful impact right from the start. For example, turning vaccine certificates into a verifiable credential is something that affects everyone in the country, as does receiving subsidies for food or gas. The larger the coverage of the pain point, the faster will be the voluntary adoption of the DPI. If a very niche sector is chosen as the first use-case it will be difficult to apply it cross-sectorally or use it as proof of success for a larger population.

  1. Aligned with their line ministry on the DPI approach?

The last important point to consider is whether the line ministry in charge of that use case is also aligned to the DPI approach or can be efficiently brought on board. For example, for verifying land records, is the home ministry alright with sharing the land record database? For routing G2P for educational scholarships, is the education ministry alright with sharing student records? Knowing you have the agency over or approval of the line ministry required to execute the DPI block for this use-case means that you now have a winning formula in your hand!

Note: The first use case is different from first adopter!

For example, the first DPI block can be data sharing, the first use case for data sharing may be bank certificates, and the first adopter of the DPI use case may be a digital lender who uses it to approve a small ticket loan!

Similarly, the DPI block can be Open Discovery, the first use case for open discovery can be mobility, and the first adopter can be a ride sharing startup who wants to integrate it into his platform.

A powerful combination of these three factors (first DPI block, use-case and adopter) is the winning formula to help ensure your DPI is successful.

Happy building!

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