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Benefits of using biometrics for social assistance

Reporter: Adinda Ade Mustami | Editor: Yudho Winarto

KONTAN.CO.ID – JAKARTA. The World Bank (World Bank) considers that Indonesia must take advantage of innovation opportunities to overcome inequality and poverty. One of them is utilizing information technology.

Vivi Alatas, Chief Economist for the World Bank’s Poverty Program in Indonesia, said that Indonesia needs to reflect on India, which has used information technology to tackle poverty and inequality.

India, he continued, has successfully used a digital identity system through biometric technology for almost its entire population.

According to him, if biometrics is used to distribute various kinds of social assistance, the system has two benefits.

First, the beneficiary authentication or confirmation that someone is a genuine beneficiary.

“That is to make sure that I am me. When people come with the latest targeting method, then when I receive it, I will not be taken by other people. Nobody claims that I am me,” Vivi said during a national seminar as a series of commemoration events Oeang Day at Dhanapala Building, Ministry of Finance (Kemenkeu), Jakarta, Thursday (19/10).

Second, the system is also useful so there is no deduplication. This means that the system can ensure that beneficiaries do not register twice.

“(In order not to happen) I registered in this sub-district, then registered in the next sub-district,” Vivi added. If the government uses this system, he continued, then the ‘stealth’ who enjoy profits will be reduced.

Vivi believes that Indonesia can successfully implement the system. Because, not only India, Pakistan has also successfully adopted biometric technology.

Head of the Monitoring and Evaluation Working Group of the National Team for the Acceleration of Poverty Reduction (TNP2K) Elan Satriawan also said that the distribution of aid funds through biometric technology was the right policy direction. This is because the problem of disbursing non-cash social assistance is on the card.

The TNP2K survey last May showed that 49% percent of the obstacles in disbursing funds were in the problem of card pins. Not only that, 19% of the obstacles also came from the Electronic Data Capture (EDC) machine that was not functioning properly.

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