December 14, 2023

Governments around the world are implementing digital identification and social protection systems, often with biometric components. The global adoption of these systems, particularly in developing countries, is driven by a new development consensus which holds that digital ID can contribute to inclusive and sustainable development and is a prerequisite for the realization of human rights. A key player in this consensus is the World Bank, through its financing activities, extensive publications, technical assistance to governments, and knowledge exchanges. In this webinar, the Centre for Internet and Society, NYU’s Center for Global Justice & Human Rights, and Privacy International gathered to discuss three new research reports, which explore the World Bank’s approach to digital ID and social protection in developing countries from different perspectives. Although the Bank is not alone in a broader trend of actors promoting this particular model of digital systems, it is unique in its wide reach and impact, and through this webinar we hope to be able to portray the role it plays. Our aim, both with the research and this webinar, is to aid in creating a coordinated approach to ensuring digital ID systems align with human rights values and norms.



  • Katelyn Cioffi, Research Scholar, Digital Welfare State and Human Rights Project, Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, NYU School of Law
  • Shruti Trikanad, Program Officer, Centre for Internet and Society
  • Nour Haidar, Legal Officer, Privacy International



  • Tom Fisher, Senior Research Officer, Privacy International


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