Written by World Bank
Developed by The World Bank
26 September 2019
This paper develops a cost based model in order to analyse and understand the costs behind the implementation of identification systems to governments. As governments across the globe are implementing new, digital foundational identification systems or modernizing existing ID programs, there is an urgent need to develop accurate estimations of the associated costs. There are a handful of existing analyses that have attempted to estimate the overall cost of foundational ID systems: for instance, Gelb and Diofasi Metz (2018) estimate that it is likely to cost a low income country roughly 0.6 percent of GDP to build a foundational ID system, or about $4–11 investment per registrant for enrolment and credential issuance. The same study cites figures for a few countries suggesting recurrent costs of around 0.06–0.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). As the authors point out however, few data points exist and these figures may not apply to different types of systems or to all countries.