Mobile for Development Blog

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Mobile money adoption strategies for start-ups in emerging markets

With more than 866 million registered mobile money accounts globally and $1.3 billion processed daily, mobile money serves as a critical infrastructure for start-ups looking to increase digital payment adoption among their customers. Inspired by this, the GSMA Ecosystem ...

Improving utility services through partnerships and digitisation: Learnings from our Mobile Operator Roundtable

On 15 July, ahead of the GSMA’s Mobile 360 – Africa event in Kigali, the Mobile for Development (M4D) Utilities programme hosted a roundtable with over 20 participants representing 10 organisations, including mobile operators and utility providers of energy, water and ...

1Service: Digitising bill payments for piped water users in peri-urban Bangladesh

With an area of 32 square kilometres and population of 153,000, Satkhira Municipality is one of the oldest local government institutions in the Southern part of Bangladesh, established in 1869. Situated in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna delta, the southwest coastal region of ...

Why off-grid energy providers are increasingly paying attention to urban areas – insights from the DRC and beyond

On 2 and 3 July, the GSMA Mobile for Development (M4D) Utilities team was pleased to join several pay-as-you-go (PAYG) service providers, donors, mobile operators, and investors in Kinshasa for a conference entitled, ‘The Renewable Energy Investment Opportunity in the ...

Mobile technology is driving the digitisation of water utilities in emerging markets

This blog was originally been published by the International Water Association (IWA) as part of our contribution to the IWA’s Digital Water Programme Steering Committee. Despite some progress in extending access to safely managed water services in developing countries, the ...

Achieving SDG 7 – from commitments to action

The last week of June 2019 brought together organisations and agencies active in enabling sustainable energy access from across the globe in the city of Amsterdam. Weaved around two major events, the Global Off Grid Lighting Association’s Annual General Meeting (GOGLA AGM) ...

Water in the context of other global development challenges: Our takeaways from the KfW Water Sector seminar

On 12 June, the GSMA Mobile for Development Utilities team was pleased to participate in Kreditanstaltfür Wiederaufbau’s (KfW) Water Sector seminar near Frankfurt. The seminar brought together KfW’s water sector professionals from country offices throughout the world, as ...

Svadha – an ecommerce platform for sanitation solutions in India

In October 2014, the Prime Minister of India launched an ambitious national sanitation programme that aims to eliminate open defecation by 2019. The Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) has received unprecedented political support and mobilised $25 billion from government, the ...

West Africa: Has the growth potential been tapped for pay-as-you-go utilities?

Last month, I travelled to five different countries in West Africa (Ghana, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Benin) to support partnerships between pay-as-you-go (PAYG) Solar Home Systems (SHSs) and other utility providers and the mobile industry. An important way ...

Re-imagining solar distribution: The Fenix International – Musanga Logistics partnership

Last-mile delivery is often one of the most complicated steps in the logistics process, particularly for hardware companies with potential or actual customers in remote areas of emerging markets. This layer of complexity, which also exists in the solar energy supply chain, ...

Oxford Business & Poverty Conference: Why market-creating innovations are critical in the fight against poverty

On Wednesday, 29 May, the Mobile for Development Utilities team was pleased to attend the fifth annual Business & Poverty conference at Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University. The conference brought together a range of innovation scholars and practitioners ...

African Utility Week: The role of digital solutions in driving energy for the future

African Utility Week, like our GSMA Mobile for Development (M4D) Utilities Programme, has the unique and exciting role of bringing together the energy, water and sanitation industries, including both on- and off-grid service providers. So naturally, we were excited to ...

Mini-grids, macro impact?

Lacking access to electricty is one of the biggest barriers to structural transformation and private sector development in emerging markets. Of course, there is no silver bullet to extending electricity access, especially given the complex and highly unequal energy landscape ...

What does rapid urbanisation mean for utility service provision? Our takeaways from the AfricaWorks! conference

On 8 and 9 April 2019, the GSMA Mobile for Development Utilities team was thrilled to co-host a workshop on ‘Digital and IT for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)’ at the AfricaWorks! conference on the future of African cities, in Rotterdam. AfricaWorks! is the flagship ...

Supporting waterless flush sanitation through mobile technology – Loowatt

Access to basic sanitation services is a major development and public health challenge in Madagascar where only 10 per cent of the population use at least basic sanitation services[1]. Providing basic sanitation is particularly challenging in Madagascar’s capital, ...

Delivering water to urban homes through smart metering and mobile payments – CityTaps

Water supply disconnections due to non-payment or faulty meters is a common issue for urban residents of Niamey, Niger[1]. Meanwhile, Niger’s national water utility faces challenges serving the poor with affordable and clean running water, while also reducing the physical ...

Accelerating clean energy innovations in Africa – our takeaways from the ‘Transforming Energy Access’ conference

This blog post has been co-authored with Nicolas Snel, Senior Insights Manager, Mobile for Development Utilities. On 7 March 2019, the GSMA Mobile for Development (M4D) Utilities team was invited to participate in the conference, ‘Transforming Energy Access: Innovations ...

Faecal Sludge Management and AfricaSan conferences: Addressing Africa’s sanitation challenge

Though the event was explicitly Africa-focused, around 1,200 sanitation practitioners from all over the world joined the fifth conference for Faecal Sludge Management (FSM) in Cape Town on 18 – 22 February. This year the FSM conference was jointly conducted with ...

Digital payments in water: Findings from two new research projects

In the second half of 2018, the GSMA Mobile for Development (M4D) Utilities programme and the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) collaborated to explore the opportunities and challenges in offering digital payments in the water sector. In addition, the M4D ...

What does Intelligent Connectivity mean for utilities in emerging markets? Our takeaways from MWC Barcelona and 4YFN 2019

From Monday, 25 – Wednesday, 28 February, the Mobile for Development (M4D) Utilities team participated in Mobile World Congress 2019 (#MWC19) in Barcelona. This year’s overarching theme, ‘Intelligent Connectivity’, aimed to mark the beginning of a new era of highly ...