Mobile for Development Blog

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World Toilet Day – to flush down the sanitation challenge, we need to think beyond toilets

Reducing the number of people without access to basic sanitation services remains one of the most complex and pressing global development and public health challenges. 2.5 billion people lack access to basic sanitation services (with almost half forced to defecate in the ...

From pay-as-you-go solar to pay-as-you-go smartphones and cookstoves: Insights from VITALITE, Zambia

VITALITE received a grant from the GSMA Mobile for Development (M4D) Utilities Innovation Fund in October 2017 to trial smartphone and cookstove add-on products for their pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar home systems (SHS) in Zambia. The project aims to leverage the PAYG mechanism ...

The geographical expansion of the IPN Hub and its utility beyond PAYG Solar

The Instant Payment Notification (IPN) Hub is an industry utility created by the GSMA to enable ecosystem players to connect more easily to mobile money providers – bringing fundamental utility services (such as electricity, water and sanitation) to off-grid populations. The ...

Reflecting on World Water Week and introducing our new report on the key trends in mobile-enabled water services

This blog was co-authored by Akanksha Sharma and Michael Nique. Water scarcity is becoming the new normal. Access to freshwater is essential to life – and yet today millions around the world suffer from water scarcity. The lack of access to freshwater affects more than 40 ...

Svadha – developing a digitally enabled sanitation ecosystem in Odisha, India

Every day in India, over 500 million people practice open defecation that could lead to adverse health implications such as diarrhoea, anaemia and stunted growth, especially amongst women and children. Apart from being a health hazard, absence of toilets means that millions ...

Our experiences from Kigali and Mobile 360 – Africa

Our Mobile for Development (M4D) Utilities team held a two-day event in Kigali, prior to also supporting Mobile 360 – Africa. The team held both a grantee workshop as well as a mobile network operator (MNO) roundtable, which included a field visit. Our grantees were excited ...

Takeaways from the Asia Clean Energy Forum 2018 in Manila

On a hot June morning, I make my way through the busy streets of Manila towards the Asian Development Bank headquarters. It is the week of the Asia Clean Energy Forum and the ADB office is buzzing with a diverse mix of project developers, financial institutions, non-profits, ...

Instant Payment Notification (IPN) Hub crosses one million transactions

This blog was co-authored by Anant Nautiyal. A single-point of integration to accelerate the pay-as-you-go (PAYG) industry In a previous blog, we highlighted how the Instant Payment Notification (IPN) Hub, an industry utility created by the GSMA, has been connecting mobile ...

Announcing our newest Mobile for Development Utilities Innovation Fund phase three grantees

Photo above provided courtesy of KopaGas. Launched in 2013, the Mobile for Development Utilities Innovation Fund has competitively awarded grants to 53 organisations across four continents, amounting to £9.4 million to date. These innovations have impacted over 4.5 million ...

Reflecting on the work towards SDG 6 – World Water Day

Image provided courtesy of WonderKid World Water Day is upon us once again and poses as a poignant time to reflect on our programme’s effort to alleviate issues around water, specifically in tackling SDG 6: Clean, Water and Sanitation. Recently I took on an exercise in ...

Devergy: Leveraging a mobile services bonus to encourage the use of mobile money wallets for smart solar mini-grids in Mbeya, Tanzania

This blog was written by Salima Fazal Karim, former Senior Market Engagement Manager for Mobile for Development Utilities. In 2015, the GSMA Mobile for Development Utilities Programme awarded a grant to Devergy to roll out their mobile-enabled pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar ...

Manobi: Deploying mobile payments and tools for rural water utilities in Benin

This blog was written by Salima Fazal Karim, former Senior Market Engagement Manager for Mobile for Development Utilities. In 2015, the GSMA Mobile for Development Utilities Programme awarded a grant to Manobi. Manobi aims to boost rural water utilities’ efficiency and ...

Enterprise Solutions: The next frontier for mobile money

Co-authored by Francesco Pasti. Mobile money needs to diversify beyond individual customers With 690 million registered accounts worldwide, mobile money has evolved into a leading payment platform for an emerging digital economy. However, as a service that was born primarily ...

Bringing water to every urban home with the power of mobile – an update on our grantee, CityTaps

In 2013, we launched the Mobile for Development (M4D) Utilities Innovation Fund to trial and scale the use of mobile to improve or increase access to energy, water and sanitation services. To date, we have awarded Seed and Market Validation grants to 34 organisations in 21 ...

Our takeaways from the Global Off-Grid Solar Forum and Expo 2018

The Hong Kong Convention Centre is known for its large trade and finance expos and its impressive views of Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour. But from 22 to 24 January 2018, it became the global centre for off-grid solar energy, a rapidly growing industry with the ultimate ...

Unlocking PAYG Utilities through mobile money

Globally, 1.2 billion people lack access to electricity. Current trends suggest Africa will not achieve universal access to electricity until 2080. In order to address this need, a new generation of entrepreneurial businesses have taken on the challenge of providing critical ...

Complementarity and commitment in good measure for successful partnerships: Lessons from Product Health

This blog was written by Charu Chadha, former Senior Market Engagement Manager, Mobile for Development Utilities Country(s) of implementation: Tanzania, Kenya and Bangladesh Mobile channels: Machine to machine (M2M) connectivity and Mobile services In 2013, we launched the ...

Join us at the Global Off-Grid Solar Forum and Expo

We are pleased to announce we have become a partner of the Global Off-Grid Solar Forum and Expo. Organised by the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA) and the IFC/World Bank Lighting Global program, the Forum is the world’s premier off-grid solar event. The ...

Our new report: Going greenfield with pay-as-you-go

By overcoming affordability, access, quality and payment challenges, pay-as-you-go (PAYG) services have supported clean energy solutions since the early part of this decade. By June 2017, PAYG solar sales exceeded 1.6 million globally, with the majority of sales being in ...

Three lessons to consider while field testing IoT hardware: Learnings from the Upande grant

This blog was written by Charu Chadha, formerly a Senior Market Engagement Manager, Mobile for Development (M4D) Utilities. In 2013, we launched the M4D Utilities Innovation Fund to trial and scale the use of mobile to improve or increase access to energy, water and ...