The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees faced an operational challenge: how to quickly and accurately identify a constantly
changing population of forcibly displaced people in its camps worldwide. Accenture leveraged its Unique Identity Service Platform to deploy
a breakthrough biometrics system that captures, matches and stores fingerprints, iris data and facial images of individuals.
The technology provides
undocumented refugees with
their only personal identity
record, ensuring that the right
people receive assistance where
and when they need it.
The UNHCR needed a breakthrough
biometrics system, and they selected
Accenture to design and build it, understanding that the engagement of the private
sector, especially large, tech companies
like Accenture would be critical to their
success, says Marty Rodgers who leads the
firm’s Washington D.C. Metro Office, as
well as its Nonprofit Group.
“Organizations harnessing digital
technologies can power change and help
advance the way they affect people,” he
says. “Leveraging our capabilities to help
those in need is embedded in our DNA, and
our people have been tremendously, enthu-
During a four-week pilot in Malawi, the
UNHCR registered nearly 17,000 refugees.
Since then, the system has enrolled 120,000
refugees in Thailand, 100,000 refugees
in Chad, and is being rolled out globally.
Leveraging this expertise, Accenture Federal
Services will provide consulting and digital
services and program management support to
the White House Partnership for Refugees.
In just six weeks—collaborating closely
with UNHCR—Accenture configured a pilot
Biometric Identity Management System
(BIMS) tailored to the agency’s unique
needs, leveraging its own software.
“BIMS is more inclusive and accurate
in matching an identity and de-duplicating
multiple enrolment attempts because it uses
several biometric modalities,” Rodgers says.
“The technology captures and stores finger-
prints, iris data and facial images of indi-
viduals, providing undocumented refugees
with their only personal identity record and
ensuring that the right people receive assis-
tance where and when they need it.”
The system provides UNHCR with the
flexibility to deploy it locally or remotely
in high-risk areas, with Accenture provid-
ing support globally. The mobile solution
has now been rolled out to approximately
820,000 enrollees, with the intent to expand
to additional camps over time.
Rodgers says the commitment and connection to UNHCR’s overall mission is
“First, as global organizations, we’re
both constantly taking thoughtful actions
to bring positive change, for today and
for tomorrow. Fundamentally, our goal at
Accenture is to improve the way the world
works and lives—it’s central to our vision
as a company,” he says.
“Second, across our business, we
develop technology solutions to help
organizations maximize performance and
achieve their vision, so we knew we had
an amazing opportunity to make a real,
sustainable impact collaborating with
UNHCR. In this case, we’re using digital innovation to address complex, global
issues and improve people’s lives.