Cross Industry Collaboration Against Trafficking: CIDI Initiative gains steam
Before the onset of COVID-19, GFEMS and its partners at The Knoble and SAS Institute were scheduled to host a Cross Industry Data View workshop, building on the work of the Liechtenstein Finance Against Slavery and Trafficking (FAST) Initiative. The workshop, acting as a platform to explore opportunities accelerating progress in financial sector mobilization, was intended to be the starting point for building a roadmap to a cross-industry data view of financial transactions. Such a data view could enable financial institutions to better identify and track illicit financial flows.
As the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the workshop was taken online in the form of a webinar, and interest in the project has gained momentum. Since the Initiative launched in May, more than 130 participants from over 60 organizations across government, financial institutions, fintech, and NGOs are working together virtually to identify actionable steps to facilitate better data gathering and sharing and paths for collaboration between public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Contributing their expertise to the Initiative across five working groups, Data, Law Enforcement and Regulations, Role of the NGOs, Scams and Abuse, and Ideation, CIDI participants have dedicated over 1200 hours to the project.
Shawn Holtzclaw, Acting Executive Director of The Knoble and leader of the Ideation working group, said, “We are facing a challenge that requires collaboration, ingenuity and determination. Through CIDI I am confident we’ll begin to create systemic impact.”
The CIDI initiative was created to address the need for improved partnership in data sharing by financial institutions to improve visibility into illicit financial flows. Financial institutions have different views of transactional and account activity, resulting in only partial or fragmented understandings of potentially illicit financial flows. There is an opportunity to create a more holistic picture of account activity through improved collaboration and communication between financial institutions and by developing a cross-industry data view that utilizes pre-existing infrastructures and capabilities within the financial sector. Ultimately, this improved data view has the potential to accelerate efforts to identify and disrupt illicit financial flows to traffickers.
The CIDI working groups will continue to meet throughout this quarter, each working on specific proposals and identifying needs and opportunities to advance the goals of the Initiative. GFEMS looks forward to continuing this work and sharing our results and findings into the future.