Last month, I was on my way to speak at an IDB sponsored conference on evaluation. Getting on the shuttle to DC I bumped into a friend of mine who is the head of a technology related company. On the plane I was telling him I was on my way to talk about the fad of doing RCTs in my field of development. He told me he had a great slide from the tech consulting company Gartner about the “Hype Cycle” in tech industries. As you see, this wonderful graphic shows a typical cycle of a tech idea or tech
CGD Policy Blogs
How NGOs and service delivery organisations can be empowered by better use of data to improve public service delivery.
What exactly is privacy? As Bob Gellman points out in his new CGD paper, the concept changes from place to place. Scandinavian countries have strict privacy laws, but tax returns are public; the United States has no broad privacy laws, but tax returns are shield from public scrutiny. In some European countries, nude sunbathing is common; in some Muslim countries, women typically appear in public wearing garments that cover the body from head to feet. That’s all to say that privacy—and efforts to protect it—depend on context.
This is a joint post with Kate McQueston.
Mobile applications – or ‘apps’ – seem to be the latest craze in mobile technology for global health programming. The proliferation of these apps is converging around a growing interests in open (and big) data, so you don’t have to look far to find creative ways they are being used to collect and display data in the development sector.
Imagine that a government employee holding an unfamiliar device and a laptop offers to scan your iris and create for you a unique identification record. Would you agree? For hundreds of millions of people in the developing world, the answer is unequivocally “yes!” My guests on this Wonkcast are among the world’s leading experts on the burgeoning field of biometric identification and its role in development.
The “identity gap” is large, but it’s closing. Over the past 10 years, developing countries from Afghanistan to Zambia—and the donors that support them—have begun to focus on identity systems. Some have sought to create or extend national identification to cover large populations that previously could not exercise basic rights or access services due to a lack of official documentation. Others have reformed government and NGO programs by creating robust identification to improve quality, increase accessibility and eliminate fraud.