Implemented by Save the Children, the exercise uses easy-to-use and inexpensive equipment to read students’ fingerprints to record daily attendance.
The biometric information is then used to identify those students who meet the conditional threshold of 80 percent school attendance and, therefore, qualify for a cash transfer twice a term.
The cash transfer goes to their household head, whose biometric details have also been captured and linked to a bank account to facilitate electronic household cash transfers.
Many families in the developing world face difficult decisions about whether to invest in a child’s education (even if it’s “free”) or to maximize the family’s current earnings by putting children to work. Programs like the one described above have made a difference in the lives of millions in Brazil, Mexico and Indonesia and backing up the cash transfers with a biometric audit trail should help insure that available funds are used efficiently.