Participation of Persons With Disabilities in India’s Aadhaar Project
37 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2020
Date Written: September 28, 2020
The adoption of digital identity systems is often backed by an inclusionary narrative, targeted mainly towards vulnerable and marginalized groups. Yet, the reality of many such projects tends to be marred by the invisibility of the very same groups from the dominant policy and research discourse. Focusing on the interaction of persons with disabilities with the world’s largest national digital identity project, Aadhaar, this paper evaluates the extent to which the interests of persons with disabilities were accounted for in the design, planning and implementation of Aadhaar. It does so based on interactions with stakeholders, review of the Unique Identification Authority of India’s documentation and the literature on bio-metric usability. The paper identifies several gaps in the design and roll out of the project and highlights better participation, usability assessment, accessibility and redress as some of the main areas where much more work is required.
Keywords: Disabilities, Digital Identity, Aadhaar, Inclusion, Access, Usability
JEL Classification: O31, O33, O38, I18,
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