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.
Emerging technologies such as digital payments and biometric ID hold great promise but also pose challenges in certain areas, including privacy and data security. CGD research brings a clear-eyed view to key questions facing technologists and development practitioners: As an emerging leader in digitalized service delivery, is India’s Andhra Pradesh a model for other states? Is there enough political to implement similar programs in other countries? How can we ensure that digital ID systems are fully inclusive? Our work on India’s biometric payments system Aadhaar asks how it is transforming a billion Indian lives, and how might the technology help other developing countries interested in expanding the digital economy.
Tariq Malik, former chairman, National Database and Registration Authority, Pakistan
Pakistan is a leader in the application of identification systems and technology to a range of development issues. The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) of Pakistan has become a central player in a number of program areas and has been internationally recognized for its expertise, including winning many awards for excellence.
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.