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CGD in the News

Villages Leapfrog the Grid with Biometrics and Mobile Money (The Christian Science Monitor)

April 14, 2011

Alan Gelb and CGD non-resident fellow Jenny Aker were featured in a Christian Science Monitor article on biometrics and new technologies

Alan Gelb, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development in Washington, D.C., believes that biometric identification can reduce the corruption and fund diversion that hobble many programs for the poor. He points to a Nigerian pension program: When it switched to fingerprints in 2010, the number of people claiming benefits dropped from 160,000 to 115,000. Monthly payments dropped from $150 million to $84 million.

"These programs," says Mr. Gelb, "can be much more costly and much more subject to leakage if you don't have some kind of formal identifier that is unique."

Read the Article