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Imagine trying to open a bank account, apply for government benefits, or travel to another country without any form of formal identification.

A lot of people around the world still face those challenges. 

“We call them the last billion, because there are a billion people in the world—around a billion—who don’t have an ID,” Anit Mukherjee, a policy fellow here at CGD, tells me in this episode of the CGD podcast. “So how we reach that last billion is an important development challenge.”

Anit was previously a policy advisor on the world’s largest biometric ID program, India’s Aadhaar, and is currently studying its impacts as part of CGD’s Technology and Development program. 

He joined me on the podcast to talk about why ID is so important for development, what needs to happen to keep people’s data safe, and what developing countries who are considering implementing new ID systems need to know. Here’s a preview: 

 

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CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD does not take institutional positions.