This paper surveys 160 cases where biometric identification has been used for economic, political, and social purposes in developing countries. One primary conclusion is that identification should be considered as a component of development policy, rather than being seen as just a cost on a program-by-program basis.
Building a Biometric National ID: Lessons for Developing Countries from India’s Universal ID Program
India’s Universal ID program seeks to provide a unique identity to all 1.2 billion residents. Its successes and potential failures will have far-reaching implications for other developing countries looking to create national identity systems.
The Evolution of India’s UID Program: Lessons Learned and Implications for Other Developing Countries
This paper discusses the evolution of India's Universal ID program, the innovative organization and pathbreaking technology behind it, how it is being rolled out, and how robust ID is beginning to be used.
Johnny West describes how an oil-dividend program could be structured by, for example, taking advantage of Iraq’s existing rationing system, ubiquitous mobile phone networks, and new biometric ID cards.
Cash at Your Fingertips: Biometric Technology for Transfers in Developing and Resource-Rich Countries - Working Paper 253
This paper surveys the arguments for and against cash-transfer programs in resource-rich states, discusses some of the new biometric identification technologies, and reaches preliminary conclusions about their potentially very large benefits for developing countries.