The datafication of anti-poverty programmes: Evidence from the Public Distribution System in Karnataka
conference contributionposted on 01.02.2019, 10:09 by Soumyo Das, Silvia Masiero
The notion of datafication implies rendering existing objects, actions and processes into data. This research-in-progress paper focuses on the meaning of datafication for anti-poverty programmes, conceived as social welfare schemes designed specifically for poor people. Drawing on a state-level case study of the adoption of Aadhaar, India’s biometric population database, within the main national food security programme, we illustrate a techno-rational perspective that views datafication as capable of enhancing the effectiveness of anti-poverty schemes. At the same time, field narratives collected from beneficiaries show multiple forms of data injustice including informational gaps, restriction of the universal right to food to the enrolled, and exclusion of entitled households from service provision. Based on the qualitative research conducted on the scheme we put forward a politically embedded view of data, framing datafication as a transformative force that concurs to deep reform of existing anti-poverty programmes.
- Business and Economics