Mobile for Development Blog


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, Antananarivo, where high urban density and climate change pose significant challenges to waste and faecal sludge management. […]

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 and commercial losses it needs to remain financially sustainable. In response to this, CityTaps has […]

What did we learn at the Seedstars Global Summit 2019?

The GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator team was invited to attend the sixth annual Private Investor Forum at the Seedstars Global Summit, in Lausanne on 4 and 5 April 2019. The event brought together over 1,000 people including start-ups, investors, mentors, mobile operators and other corporate companies from all over the world. The event also included industry-focused […]

Is mobile money the future of cash and voucher assistance?

This is the question we posed at a GSMA Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation (M4H) event last week in Nairobi – where we launched two important handbooks that will support mobile operators and humanitarian organisations to effectively operationalise mobile money enabled cash and voucher assistance (CVA).   Download the handbooks:   At the GSMA we believe […]

One year into Round 2: Updates from the Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund

Back in February 2018, we revealed a new cohort of start-ups from across Asia Pacific and Africa selected for the second round of the Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund. In August 2018, we then updated you on their progress at the six-month mark. Now, a year into working with these start-ups, it’s time to reflect and […]

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 towards SDG 7’, led by the UK Department for International Development. The event was opened by […]

Digital technologies supporting persons on the autism spectrum

“Until we create a nation that regularly wants to employ a person with autism, assure for quality education for each person with autism, and eliminates the far too many unnecessary obstacles placed in the way of success for a person with autism, we really won’t be as successful as we must. We need to get […]

The case for mobile money enabled CVA programming

The humanitarian sector has shifted from a protracted period of research on the potential to use cash to strong recommendations on significantly increasing its use. Moreover, given the benefits of digitising cash and voucher assistance (CVA) –increased transparency, reduced risk of theft and fraudulent activity and most importantly, greater freedom for beneficiaries to choose when […]

Harnessing the power of agents to drive female inclusion

How much do mobile operators need to adapt? The differing needs of women, in low-and middle-income economies, in accessing digital financial services are well documented. A key question is, how can mobile operators adapt existing distribution networks to accommodate women’s requirements and will the introduction of female agents drive uptake of financial services by women. […]

The impact of mobile money on financial sector development

An ever-increasing body of research has demonstrated the positive impact of mobile money on individuals, households and businesses. That said, the extent to which mobile money impacts a country’s macroeconomic and financial sector development has not been fully examined. In addition to this evidence gap, there is a perception throughout the formal financial services sector […]

Key Success Factors of a National Financial Inclusion Strategy

Governments, through National Financial Inclusion Strategies (NFIS), have the capacity to implement transformative reforms to ensure a wide availability of financial services. Today, we are glad to be launching research into the key success factors of an NFIS which ensures mobile money is well integrated into the financial inclusion agenda. Mobile money is a key […]

Papua New Guinea – how can mobile technology be harnessed for digital transformation?

This blog was co-authored by Catherine Highet, Michael Nique, Amanda H A Watson and Amber Wilson. Under the theme of ‘Harnessing Inclusive Opportunities, Embracing the Digital Future’, Papua New Guinea’s capital, Port Moresby, hosted the Asia Pacific Economic Coopertion (APEC) sessions in 2018, prioritising how Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) could promote inclusive and sustainable growth […]

Data protection in mobile money

Today, we’re pleased to release insights into the key areas of data protection impacting the provision of mobile money services. As the value of data continues to grow, so does the need to safeguard the use of data for the protection of the consumer, to the benefit of the mobile money industry as a whole. […]

Meeting a maturing tech ecosystem at Orange Fab Tunisia

On 26 March 2019, the GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator team was invited to run a workshop on the topic, ‘How to do business with telco operators’ for a dozen selected start-ups at the invitation of the newly launched Orange Fab Tunisia. The day in Tunis provided an opportunity to engage closely with the vibrant and maturing […]

Identity and the Urban Poor

Despite a shortage of urban-rural disaggregated data on national identity coverage, evidence from most countries suggests that access to identity is generally highest in more developed urban areas, and lowest in rural locations. Our own on-the-ground research – which now covers Tanzania, Cote D’Ivoire, Pakistan, Nigeria, Rwanda, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Ghana – also shows […]

The era of pink mobile phones is over: How Dialog Sri Lanka is making mobile internet relevant for women

Mobile services and applications are sometimes criticised for focusing on men’s priorities and paying too little attention to women’s needs; for example, safe access to public internet facilities, private access to information on reproductive health, and protection from online abuse. As a result of women not being sufficiently considered in the development and marketing of […]

The Ecosystem Accelerator annual bootcamp, MWC and 4YFN summarised in four insights

Between 21 and 28 February 2019, the GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator programme ran its annual portfolio start-up bootcamp, and participated in MWC and 4YFN in Barcelona, Spain. The week was packed with unique insights and our portfolio start-ups had unparalleled opportunities to engage with like-minded stakeholders. Reflecting on these events, this blog attempts to capture some insights […]

Sizing the mobile gender gap in refugee contexts

GSMA research has repeatedly demonstrated that women are less likely than men to own a phone and to access mobile internet. The GSMA 2019 Mobile Gender Gap report demonstrates that women in low-and middle-income countries are 10 per cent less likely than men to own a phone and 23 per cent less likely to use […]

“Accessibility”: How mobile operators can improve the accessibility of their services for women to help close the mobile gender gap

This is one of a series of blogs that deep dives into our framework to help mobile operators close the gender gap in their customer base. This blog focuses on one of the five themes that we believe mobile operators should focus on to address the most common barriers preventing women from owning and using […]

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 AfricaSan; a platform of African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW). This brought a unique […]