Identity in a Digital Age: Infrastructure for Inclusive Development Research Publication
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There may be no single factor that affects a person’s ability to share in the gains of global development -- to receive services and be represented -- as much as having an official identity. Identity is tied to voting rights, financial inclusion, land ownership, education, and can even help protect against human trafficking or child marriage. Yet the complex forces behind identity systems are often overlooked or misunderstood, leading to inefficiencies and missed opportunities for inclusive and sustainable ID systems. With emerging digital technologies, the ID landscape is poised to become even more complex. This report assesses the opportunities and risks of digital ID systems in development. It particularly focuses on the role of project-driven ID investments and argues for a broader view of digital ID as essential development infrastructure.