COVID-19
Mobile for Development updates and guidance


Max CuvellierThe role of mobile technology has never been more important than during this pandemic. The mobile ecosystem is absolutely vital in low- and middle- income countries in particular where connectivity and digital services can help inform citizens, design appropriate responses to the crisis, and preserve livelihoods. The GSMA is committed to supporting its members and partners through technical assistance, capacity building and best practice sharing.
Max Cuvellier – Head of Mobile for Development 


The content of this page is specific to low- and middle- income countries. For a broader view of the GSMA’s global resources visit the central page here.

Latest updates

AgriTech UX in an Era of Remote Work

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This is the third blog in a series introducing the grantees and key partners supporting The GSMA Innovation Fund for Digitisation of Agricultural Value Chains. Designing for users: The usual approach for GSMA AgriTech The GSMA Innovation Fund for Digitisation of Agricultural ...

Mobile money and international remittances: Enabling recovery during COVID-19

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Since 2016, the GSMA has supported the International Day of Family Remittances (IDFR) – adopted by the United Nations General Assembly – which is observed annually on 16 June. This year, the GSMA is continuing to support the International Fund for Agricultural Development ...

COVID-19: How is digital agriculture helping farmers?

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From the onset of the pandemic in March 2020 to February 2021, the GSMA AgriTech programme spoke to 40+ organisations, from farmer organisations to agritech companies, agribusinesses and mobile operators to understand how digital agriculture is helping farmers with their ...

The value of partnerships in the pandemic

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This post is part of a blog series on funding provided by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) that the GSMA awarded to nine previous grantees in the water, sanitation, education, health and food security sectors which enabled them to continue ...

View all updates

Webinars

Webinar on demand: Keeping Bangladesh connected: The role of the mobile industry during the COVID-19 pandemic

Video

Monday 21 Dec 2020 | Bangladesh | Connected Society | Mobile access and use | Presentation | Report | South Asia | Video |

Connectivity has become not only essential but critical in these challenging times. Digital technology has stepped in to fill the gaps and is playing a crucial role in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. In Bangladesh, mobile technology is helping people ...

Webinar on demand:
Education For All During COVID-19 and the Promise of EdTech

Video

Tuesday 27 Oct 2020 | Central Insights | Education | Mobile for Development | Resource | Video | Webinar |

COVID-19 has exacerbated an already existing education crisis, where 260 million children and youth globally were unable to attend school before the pandemic. Nations worldwide have endeavoured to set up new education models that could augment ...

Innovating During Crisis: COVID-19 and Digital Civic Services in Developing Countries

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COVID-19 has locked down cities for billions of people worldwide, and the pandemic disproportionately threatens developing countries, not only as a health crisis but also as a devastating social and economic crisis. The World Bank’s assessment of the COVID-19 impact on ...

AI4I Webinar Series : Using mobile big data analytics to combat global challenges inc. COVID-19

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With the COVID-19 pandemic spreading across the globe, governments are seeking innovative and dynamic solutions to make the right decisions at the right time, both to save lives and minimise the long-term impact on the economy. Beyond providing connectivity, mobile operators ...

Digital Health: A tool for building resilient health systems in a COVID-19 world

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The ubiquity of Digital Health in the response to COVID-19 has quickly become recognised, with telemedicine at the forefront of this trend. Following our recent report funded and supported by DFID UK, Digital Health: A health system strengthening tool for developing ...

Innovating During Crisis: COVID-19 and Digital Education in Developing Countries

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COVID-19 has closed schools for millions of students worldwide, and the pandemic disproportionately threatens developing countries – not only as a health crisis but also as a devastating social and economic crisis. The UN recently reported that 166 countries have closed ...

Toolkits and resources

Listed below are some of our previously published toolkits, handbooks and reports, which could be relevant in implementing mobile solutions for the underserved during COVID-19.

Digital Inclusion

Education For All in the Time of COVID-19: How EdTech can be Part of the Solution

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Tuesday 29 Sep 2020 | Central Insights | Education | Report |

COVID-19 has magnified an education crisis in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This exacerbates the existing challenges in the education system that suffers from infrastructure barriers, low ...

Keeping Bangladesh connected: The role of the mobile industry during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Thursday 17 Dec 2020 | Bangladesh | Connected Society | English | Policy and regulation | Report | Research | South Asia |

Connectivity has become not only essential, but critical in these challenging times. Digital technology has stepped in to fill the gaps and is playing a crucial role in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. In Bangladesh, mobile technology ...

Reaching 50 Million Women with Mobile: A Practical Guide

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Monday 6 Apr 2020 | Accelerating Digital and Financial Inclusion | Case studies | Connected Women | English | Financial inclusion for women | Gender | Latin America & the Caribbean | Middle East and North Africa | Mobile internet for women | Report | South Asia | Sub-Saharan Africa |

This report is a practical guide for mobile operators seeking to reach women with mobile across low- and middle-income countries. For the last 10 years, our GSMA Connected Women programme has been dedicated to this challenge.

Webinar on Demand: Closing the Coverage Gap – How Innovation Can Drive Rural Connectivity

Video

Thursday 19 Sep 2019 | Connected Society | English | Global | Mobile access and use | Mobile for Development | Presentation | Report | Research | Resource | Rural network coverage | Video | Webinar |

In this webinar recording you will hear from the author of the recent Connected Society report, 'Closing the Coverage Gap - How Innovation Can Drive Rural Connectivity'. Learn about the potential innovations that could connect the unconnected.

Health and Nutrition

Health Systems, Digital Health and COVID-19: Insights from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Pakistan, Benin, Nigeria and Rwanda

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Tuesday 26 Jan 2021 | Bangladesh | Benin | Central Insights | English | Health | Mobile health | Myanmar | Nigeria | Pakistan | Report | Research | Resource | Rwanda | South Asia | Sub-Saharan Africa |

This research unpacks the health systems and digital health solutions in six developing countries: Bangladesh, Myanmar, Pakistan, Benin, Nigeria and Rwanda. This report expands on another GSMA report published in June 2020, Digital Health: A Health ...

Digital Health: A health system strengthening tool for developing countries

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Monday 8 Jun 2020 | Central Insights | Health | Report |

Digital solutions have proven to be excellent tools to address systemic challenges, particularly by enabling communication within and between various parts of the healthcare value chain. Our research highlights tangible examples of digital health and digit

Creating mobile health solutions for behaviour change: A study of eight services in the mNutrition Initiative portfolio

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Thursday 5 Apr 2018 | Digital literacy | English | Ghana | Kenya | Malawi | mHealth | Mobile access and use | Mozambique | Nigeria | Report | Resource | Sub-Saharan Africa | Tanzania | Uganda | Zambia |

For the last four years, the GSMA mHealth programme, under the mNutrition Initiative funded by UK aid, has been working with mobile operators and other mobile and health sector stakeholders to support the launch and scale of mobile ...

Scaling digital health in developing markets

Presentation

Monday 3 Jul 2017 | Digital literacy | English | Latin America & the Caribbean | mHealth | Mobile access and use | Research | Resource | South Asia | Sub-Saharan Africa |

Digital health is taking its first steps in some African, Asian and Latin American markets, with a widespread view that greater use of technology and digital solutions can help address key healthcare issues: expanding healthcare ...

mHealth Design Toolkit – Ten principles to launch, develop and scale mobile health services

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Thursday 27 Jul 2017 | Digital literacy | English | Global | mHealth | Mobile access and use | Resource | Toolkit |

The mHealth Design Toolkit is a collection of insights, tools and key principles to increase adoption and customer uptake of mobile health services by involving end-users in the service development process. mHealth services have ...

Disaster Response and Humanitarian Assistance

Partnering During Crisis: The Shared Value of Partnerships between Mobile Network Operators and Humanitarian Organisations

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Tuesday 28 Apr 2020 | Disaster response | Global | Interoperability | Iraq | Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation | Mozambique | Pakistan | Palestine | Preparedness | Report |

This research aims to provide evidence to help MNOs make informed decisions about engaging in partnerships with humanitarian organisations, and to help humanitarian actors better understand their MNO partners and build successful long-term partnerships.

Building a Resilient Industry: How Mobile Network Operators Prepare for and Respond to Natural Disasters

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Tuesday 24 Mar 2020 | Disaster response | Guidelines | Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation | Preparedness | Report |

An interactive guide for mobile network operators based on experiences with the Humanitarian Connectivity Charter

A Monitoring Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Framework for Humanitarian Innovation Programmes

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Thursday 13 Feb 2020 | Global | Guidelines | Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation | Report | Resource |

This report outlines the key elements of the MEL framework. It is unique in its approach and it is hoped that other organisations may benefit from using the thinking to adapt their own approach to generate evidence regarding humanitarian innovation.

Navigating the Shift to Digital Humanitarian Assistance: Lessons from the International Rescue Committee’s Experience

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Wednesday 4 Dec 2019 | Burundi | Cameroon | Chad | East Asia and Pacific | Jordan | Kenya | Middle East and North Africa | Mobile for Development | Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation | Pakistan | Resource | Sub-Saharan Africa |

This case study shares the International Rescue Committee's experience transitioning to digital cash assistance, with a focus on how they are leveraging mobile money platforms.

Opportunities for Improving Digital Identification in Social Cash Transfer Programmes through Mobile

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Monday 6 Apr 2020 | Digital Identity | Kenya | Malawi | Report |

Some populations experience higher levels of exclusion from social safety net programmes. In many cases, this is due to challenges related to enroling, identifying and communicating with beneficiaries.

Mobile money enabled cash aid delivery: Operational handbook for mobile money providers

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Wednesday 10 Apr 2019 | Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation | Mobile Money |

This handbook provides essential background on the humanitarian sector, and cash and voucher assistance programmes, plus outlining the operational steps involved in delivering CVA successfully.

Mobile money enabled cash aid delivery

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Wednesday 10 Apr 2019 | Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation | Mobile Money | Video |

The role of mobile money in humanitarian contexts.

Mobile money enabled cash aid delivery: Essential considerations for humanitarian practitioners

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Wednesday 10 Apr 2019 | Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation | Mobile Money |

This report offers guidance for humanitarian practitioners considering mobile money enabled cash and voucher assistance programmes.

Water, Sanitation and Energy

Digital Solutions for the Urban Poor

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Tuesday 10 Mar 2020 | Digital Utilities | Energy | English | Global and regional studies | Innovation fund and grants | Mobile access and use | Report | Sanitation | South Asia | State of the industry and trends | Sub-Saharan Africa | Water |

Two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050, with most urban growth concentrated in Africa and Asia. This poses challenges to basic service provision but mobile-enabled innovations may provide solutions.

Mobile Money Payment Toolkit for Utility Service Providers

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Wednesday 14 Jun 2017 | Digital Utilities | Energy | English | Global | Mobile access and use | Resource | Sanitation | Toolkit | Water |

The use of mobile money payment solutions is becoming widespread in utility services, however the integration with mobile money platforms remains a challenge for utility service providers. The Mobile Money Payment Toolkit for ...

Mobile Money

New perspectives: How COVID-19 has shifted sustainability priorities in the mobile sector

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Monday 16 Nov 2020 | English | Global | Mobile Money | Report | Resource |

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it an unprecedented human and economic crisis, affecting all corners of the world. As governments have grappled with responding to the rapidly evolving crisis, the role and expectations on private ...

Mobile money recommendations to central banks in response to COVID-19

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Monday 27 Apr 2020 | Bangladesh | Building the financial ecosystem | Cameroon | Democratic Republic of Congo | Disaster response | Egypt | English | Ghana | Global | Guidelines | Indonesia | Kenya | Mobile Money | Mobile Money Programme - filter | Nigeria | Pakistan | Policy and regulation | Regulation | Resource | Senegal | Uganda | Zambia |

Examines the impacts of COVID-19 on mobile money business and provides broad recommendations that could be taken to ensure business continuity and sustainability.

State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money 2019

Documents

Wednesday 25 Mar 2020 | Accelerating Digital and Financial Inclusion | AgriTech | Asia and Australia | Building the financial ecosystem | Case study | Connected Women | Digital Utilities | East Asia and Pacific | Energy | English | Europe and Central Asia | Financial inclusion for women | French | Gender | Global | Global and regional studies | Infographic | Interoperability | Latin America & the Caribbean | Middle East and North Africa | Mobile for Development | Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation | Mobile Money | Mobile Money Programme - filter | Policy and regulation | Regulation | Report | Research | Resource | South Asia | Spanish | State of the industry and trends | Sub-Saharan Africa | Video |

This year’s report examines what one billion registered accounts signify for the mobile money industry, mobile money users and the future of the mobile money ecosystem; moving us a step closer to a digital future for all.

Distribution 2.0: The future of mobile money agent distribution networks

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Thursday 5 Jul 2018 | Building the financial ecosystem | Case study | English | Global | MNOs' operational and strategic issues | Mobile access and use | Mobile Money | Mobile Money Programme - filter | Report | Resource | Sub-Saharan Africa |

Mobile money agents are a crucial asset for mobile money providers and have been key to the growth of the industry over the last decade. In December 2017, there were over 2.9 million active agents and 690 million registered customer ...

Championing a unified digital Person-to-Government (P2G) payments strategy: Lessons from Orange P2G payments in Africa

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Friday 28 Jun 2019 | Building the financial ecosystem | English | MNOs' operational and strategic issues | Mobile Money | Mobile Money Programme - filter | Report | Resource | Sub-Saharan Africa |

We explore five mobile money operations in West and Central Africa operated by Orange (Senegal, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon and DRC) and propose measures to tackle a number of challenges.

Person-to-government (P2G) payment digitisation: Lessons from Kenya

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Thursday 28 Sep 2017 | Building the financial ecosystem | Case study | Digital literacy | English | French | Interoperability | Kenya | MNOs' operational and strategic issues | Mobile access and use | Mobile Money | Mobile Money Programme - filter | Resource | Sub-Saharan Africa |

This report looks deep into how mobile money has shaped the Kenyan P2G payments journey, based on research conducted by the Bankable Frontiers Associates (BFA), ...

Guidelines on International Remittances through Mobile Money

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Monday 18 Sep 2017 | Building the financial ecosystem | Digital literacy | English | Global | Guidelines | International remittances | Mobile Money | Mobile Money Programme - filter | Resource |

This set of guidelines illustrates how the mobile money industry is collaborating to ensure international remittances are facilitated in a safe and secure manner, consistent with global standards and local monetary policies and ...

Agriculture

Building resilience in agricultural value chains in the COVID-19 era

Video

Thursday 8 Oct 2020 | AgriTech | Resource | Thrive Africa Shorts | Video |

Disruptions to demand and distribution in food and input supply chains caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing systemic challenges faced by all actors in agricultural value chains. Agribusinesses are adapting existing ...

The GSMA AgriTech Toolkit for the digitisation of agricultural value chains

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Tuesday 31 Mar 2020 | AgriTech | Building the financial ecosystem | East Asia and Pacific | English | Global | Industry assets and standards | MNOs' operational and strategic issues | Mobile access and use | Mobile for Development | Report | Resource | State of the industry and trends | Sub-Saharan Africa | Toolkit |

The Toolkit for the Digitisation of Agricultural Value Chains is a collection of resources that illustrate how digital technologies can address pain points for farmers and value chain actors, such as agribusinesses and cooperatives, in ...

E-commerce in agriculture: new business models for smallholders’ inclusion into the formal economy

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Wednesday 29 May 2019 | AgriTech | English | Latin America & the Caribbean | Report | South Asia | Sub-Saharan Africa |

Selling produce through online channels enables farmers to bypass intermediaries, leading to improved income for the farmers, reduced wastage and fresher produce for customers. These benefits are particularly important in developing ...

mAgri Webinar: How to prioritise agricultural value chains for digital interventions

Video

Wednesday 3 Apr 2019 | AgriTech | Webinar |

Watch the latest knowledge-sharing webinar from the GSMA mAgri programme. In this webinar, we presented the step-by-step approach described in our recently published GSMA