A growing number of developing countries are using biometric technologies to create national identification programs, but many programs are serving more specific needs including cash transfers, voter registration, and disaster relief. CGD senior fellow Alan Gelb argues that biometric technologies can ensure universal access to an official identity and, especially in cash transfer programs, biometrics can provide huge cost savings. The development community is only now beginning to understand the potential of this technology.

Frequently asked questions about Biometrics

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