Making cash transfers work: A one-size-fits-all plan to implement cash transfers is unlikely to work in India. Tailoring to local needs is the key
If cash transfers are to fulfil their promise of being a “game changer”, then a paradigm shift has to occur from the supply-to-demand-side subventions. Top driven supply-side interventions get morphed beyond recognition as they pass through several implementation layers.
Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom’s work in developing countries shows how this happens: in the unique culture of India, people rely more on locally crafted “rules in use”, as opposed to drilled down “rules in form”. And such transformation can be reduced by minimizing the distance between the rules in form and use. This can happen, for example, by giving greater choice to the poor to make the best use of money depending on situational rules in use.
Read the whole thing and if you haven’t watched this video yet, here’s another chance.
BigID and the changing nature of national identity infrastructures
Nigeria’s new ID has apps!
Credit card linked to Nigerian ID (Financial Mail)
In the programme’s first phase, Nigerians aged 16 and older and all who have been resident there for more than two years will get the new multipurpose ID, which has 13 applications. It is expected that up to 13m Nigerians will use the product in the first phase.
Among the apps is MasterCard’s prepaid technology, which will give cardholders the ability to make electronic payments. MasterCard says this will also have a positive impact on Nigerians who until now have not had access to mainstream financial services.
This one bears keeping an eye on.
In a couple of pioneering cases, the very concept of “The ID” is shifting
To most people, an ID looks a lot like a product — something useful that the government sells to an individual. Pay your fee; get your card. Lose your card; buy a new one.
India and Nigeria (South Africa is pretty bold, too) are pointing the way toward a future where ID isn’t just a product, though no government is going to give up its ID card product line any time soon. The future as these countries see it is ID as a government-backed platform supporting an ID ecosystem. They have the bucket (database structure). Now it’s being filled (populated). If they get the application programming interface/s (API) right, fasten your seat belt. Things will get really interesting really fast as all sorts of apps hooking into the ID infrastructure become available. Biometric technologies will be an integral part of this transition to “BigID.”
Brainstorming UID with Srikanth Nadhamuni
The video there is very informaative and extremely worthwhile.
I forgot to mention the UAE as another forward-thinking ID environment. The UAE ID is set to be deployed on smartphones.