With rigorous economic research and practical policy solutions, we focus on the issues and institutions that are critical to global development. Explore our core themes and topics to learn more about our work.
In timely and incisive analysis, our experts parse the latest development news and devise practical solutions to new and emerging challenges. Our events convene the top thinkers and doers in global development.
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."