Examining the World’s Largest Digital ID Program

SOAR 2016-2017 report cover website (2) Cropped

In India, 1.14 billion people—1/7 of the world’s population—have an Aadhaar number, a biometrically-enabled unique digital ID. This makes Aadhaar the world’s largest digital identity program implemented by a national government. Aadhaar represents a potentially transformative way for citizens, governments, and businesses to interact with each other.

Yet for a program increasingly central to India’s economy and development efforts, there are critical gaps in our understanding of Aadhaar’s coverage and performance in key areas. The lack of coherent and comprehensive evidence on the Aadhaar experience provides the motivation for a suite of services and products under the State of Aadhaar aegis. These include a systematic landscape report and an up-to-date website with libraries for data and research.

IDinsight’s State of Aadhaar Report 2016-17 provides a first-of-its-kind overview of Aadhaar. This includes Aadhaar’s technological and operational architecture, legal and governance framework, applications in financial inclusion and social protection, and emerging uses in other sectors. The report will facilitate greater understanding, discourse, and decision-making on the Aadhaar ecosystem.

StateofAadhaar.in is a tool for practitioners and researchers interested in digital identity. The website provides up-to-date and comprehensive information on Aadhaar, including:

For the latest developments, follow our work on this initiative via Twitter and Facebook.

The report and website are sponsored by Omidyar Network, which has also sponsored the Digital Identity Research Initiative housed at the Indian School of Business.