Case Study

Count every child: Telenor’s digital birth registration

14 pages
May 2023
Reference: IMD-7-2410

Birth registration – considered a basic human right provided by government services – was still not working in many countries. One in four children worldwide is not registered. Yet, Zainab Siddiqui, head of sustainability at Telenor Pakistan, had a different idea. In 2013, she initiated the Digital Birth Registration Project in Pakistan in two provinces to replace the existing paper-based approach. Her entrepreneurial leadership was encouraged in Telenor, a global mobile network operator based in Norway, active in 8 markets with over 170 million subscribers. The company was an organization true to its original purpose of “promoting a country’s prosperity” – by “empowering societies and connecting its subscribers to what matters most.” What mattered most could be digital health, digital farming or digital banking services – several of the services that the company had launched over the years. Digital birth registration and its potential follow-on services – such as digital marriage certificates and digital driver’s licenses – were considered good not only for what matters most but also potentially for the bottom line. After several years of successful implementation of the project, Zainab considered how Telenor Pakistan could take on full responsibility for the service from the Pakistani government. How would the company prepare and position itself for the eventual negotiations with the government for this potential growth opportunity?

Social Innovation, Purpose, Business Model, Poverty Elimination, Good Health, Quality Education, Decent Work Conditions, Reduced Inequalities, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Well-being, Economic Growth
Asia, Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Telenor Group, Services, Telecommunications
November 2020
Field Research
© 2023
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