Among the DC think tank set, Alan Gelb and the Center for Global Development (CGD) have been early proponents of applying biometric ID management techniques to strengthen international development projects. See: Fingerprint Haiti Now: Biometrics in Haiti, One Year Later from late 2010.
More recently, Mr. Gelb has been joined at CGD by Julia Clark. Together, they recently published the working paper: Identification for Development: The Biometrics Revolution.
Their most recent contribution is an audio discussion of the state of ID moderated by the CGD’s Lawrence MacDonald.
The Biometrics Revolution — Alan Gelb and Julia Clark (Center for Global Development)
People who have identification, such as a driver’s license or social security card, frequently take it for granted, Alan explains. In fact, having identification opens doors—figuratively as well as literally.
“There are a lot of people in poor countries who are marginalized because they have no official identity. With no official identity, you can’t access government services; you really can’t participate in a normal economy,” Alan says. “So once you realize that ID is necessary, the question becomes what kind of ID you should have. And if one is looking for an ID which is robust, with which you can be reasonably sure that other people can’t pretend to be you, that’s where biometric ID comes in.”
The program ends with a plug for their free and open event in Washington, DC next Tuesday (Feb. 12).
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