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Connections is a weekly series of knowledge notes from the World Bank Group’s Transport & Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Global Practice. It covers projects, experiences, and front-line developments.

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  • Publication
    The Identity Target in the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Enabling Access to Services for All
    (2015-09) Dahan, Mariana; Gelb, Alan
    Robust personal identification (ID) systems are critical to the success of many development programs. Regardless of the methods used, official ID for all - together with the legal, political, and economic rights it confers - is becoming a priority for governments around the world. Legal ID is on the post-2015 sustainable development goals (SDGs) agenda as SDG target 16.9, urging states to ensure that all have free or low-cost access to widely accepted, and robust identity credentials. The international community should join forces to achieve this goal, as attaining it will also be a key enabler of many other SDGs.
  • Publication
    Digital IDs for Development: Access to Identity and Services for All
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-04) Dahan, Mariana; Sudan, Randeep
    Lack of personal official identification (ID) prevents people from fully exercising their rights and isolates them socially and economically - voting, legal action, receipt of government benefits, banking, and borrowing are all virtually closed off. The widespread lack of ID in developing countries is a critical stumbling block to national growth. Digital ID, combined with the already extensive use of mobile devices in the developing world, offers a transformative solution to the problem - a simple means for capturing personal ID that can reach far more people; and new, more efficient ways for government and business to reach and serve the population. Robust digital ID systems can produce huge savings for citizens, government, and business, increase transparency and accountability, and drive innovation. Harnessing their power will require strong political will and leadership, foreign assistance matched with local incentives, and a supportive institutional environment. Trust in data security will be critical to achieving tangible results.