COVID-19
Mobile for Development updates and guidance


The 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

Use of digital solutions is key in a disability inclusive response to COVID-19

This blog forms part of a blog series to be published over the coming weeks as we investigate how the digital and social exclusion of persons with disabilities are heightened during the pandemic and how mobile and digital solutions can combat the barriers.  The COVID-19 ...

IoT applications in the fight against COVID-19

In times of social distancing, the Internet of Things (IoT) has enabled diagnosis and treatment of patients remotely, and facilitated the delivery of vital medicine and medical equipment to isolated areas. This blog explores the use of IoT technology in remote patient ...

Pandemic response in action: Cassava Fintech responses to COVID-19 in Burundi

This is the fifth post in a blog series highlighting the efforts that mobile network operators have taken to help tackle the COVID-19 pandemic in their respective markets. In this interview Cassava Fintech-Burundi’s General Manager, Wood Gitobu, explains how COVID-19 has ...

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Webinars

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

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

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

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

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 ...

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

While COVID-19 is magnifying the weaknesses of existing health systems globally, the pandemic disproportionately threatens developing countries, not only as a health crisis but also as a devastating social and economic crisis.

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

Reaching 50 Million Women with Mobile: A Practical Guide

Document

Monday 6 Apr 2020 | Accelerating Digital and Financial Inclusion | Case studies | Connected Women | Digital Inclusion for Women | English | Gender | Latin America & the Caribbean | Middle East and North Africa | Mobile Internet for Women | Mobile Money 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 | Digital Inclusion | English | Global | Mobile access and use | Mobile for Development | Mobile internet | 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

Digital Health:
A health system strengthening tool for developing countries

Document

Monday 8 Jun 2020 | Central Insights | 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

Document

Thursday 5 Apr 2018 | Content creation and stylization | Digital literacy | Digital skills | English | Ghana | Kenya | Malawi | mHealth | Mobile access and use | Mobile internet | Mozambique | Nigeria | Product development and product design | Report | Resource | Sub-Saharan Africa | Tanzania | Uganda | User insights and data | 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 ...

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

Document

Thursday 27 Jul 2017 | Content creation and stylization | Digital literacy | English | Global | Local content | mHealth | Mobile access and use | Mobile internet | Operational best practices | Product development and product design | 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 ...

Scaling digital health in developing markets

Presentation

Monday 3 Jul 2017 | Digital literacy | Digital skills | English | Latin America & the Caribbean | mHealth | Mobile access and use | Mobile internet | 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 ...

Disaster Response and Humanitarian Assistance

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

Document

Monday 6 Apr 2020 | Digital Identity | Digital Inclusion | 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.

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

Documents

Tuesday 28 Apr 2020 | Global | Industry positions | Interoperability | Iraq | Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation | Mozambique | Pakistan | Palestine | Preparedness | Report | Response |

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

Document

Tuesday 24 Mar 2020 | Guidelines | Humanitarian Connectivity Charter | Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation | Preparedness | Report | Response |

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

Document

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.

Mobile money enabled cash aid delivery

Video

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

Documents

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.

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

Documents

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.

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

Documents

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.

Water, Sanitation and Energy

Digital Solutions for the Urban Poor

Document

Tuesday 10 Mar 2020 | Energy | English | Global and regional studies | Grants | Industry positions | Innovation fund and grants | Mobile access and use | Mobile for Development Utilities | 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

Document

Wednesday 14 Jun 2017 | Energy | English | Global | Mobile access and use | Mobile for Development Utilities | Mobile internet | Operational best practices | Product development and product design | 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

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

Document

Monday 27 Apr 2020 | Bangladesh | Cameroon | Democratic Republic of Congo | Ecosystem payments | Egypt | English | Financial services products | Ghana | Global | Guidelines | Indonesia | Kenya | Mobile Money | Nigeria | Pakistan | Policy and regulation | Regulation | Resource | Response | 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 | Case study | Connected Women | Digital Inclusion | Digital Inclusion for Women | East Asia and Pacific | Ecosystem payments | Energy | English | Europe and Central Asia | Financial services products | French | Global | Global and regional studies | Infographic | international remittances | Interoperability | Latin America & the Caribbean | Middle East and North Africa | Mobile for Development | Mobile for Development Utilities | Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation | Mobile Money | Mobile Money for Women | Mobile Money Programme | 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.

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

Document

Friday 28 Jun 2019 | Digital Inclusion | Ecosystem payments | English | Financial services products | MNOs' operational and strategic issues | Mobile Money | Mobile Money Programme | 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.

Distribution 2.0: The future of mobile money agent distribution networks

Document

Thursday 5 Jul 2018 | Case study | Digital Inclusion | Ecosystem payments | English | Financial services products | Global | MNOs' operational and strategic issues | Mobile access and use | Mobile Money | Mobile Money Programme | 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 ...

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

Document

Thursday 28 Sep 2017 | Case study | Digital Inclusion | Digital literacy | English | Financial services products | French | Interoperability | Kenya | MNOs' operational and strategic issues | Mobile access and use | Mobile Money | Mobile Money Programme | 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

Document

Monday 18 Sep 2017 | Digital Inclusion | Digital literacy | Digital skills | Ecosystem payments | English | Financial services products | Global | Guidelines | international remittances | International remittances | Mobile literacy | Mobile Money | Mobile Money Programme | 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

The GSMA AgriTech Toolkit for the digitisation of agricultural value chains

Document

Tuesday 31 Mar 2020 | AgriTech | Business model | Digital Inclusion | East Asia and Pacific | English | Financial services products | Global | Industry assets and standards | MNOs' operational and strategic issues | Mobile access and use | Mobile for Development | Operational best practices | Product development and product design | Report | Resource | Social impact and behavioural change | 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

Document

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