Digital Utilities

Digital Utilities

Supporting urban resilience in low- and middle-income countries by enabling access to essential utility services through digital solutions and innovative partnerships

Our mission is to enable access to affordable, reliable, safe and sustainable urban utility services through digital solutions and innovative partnerships. Inclusive utility services, such as energy, water, sanitation, waste management and transport support urban resilience, which allows cities in low- and middle-income countries to better withstand challenges related to population growth, climate change, and inequality.

The Digital Utilities programme enables digital solutions and partnerships between innovators, mobile operators, government providers of utility services. To achieve our objectives, the programme engages in:

  • De-risking and catalysing innovative urban utility services;
  • Research and insights;
  • Partnership facilitation and convening of key ecosystem stakeholders; and
  • Technical advice to mobile operators, municipalities, and utility service providers.
Explore what we do 
Latest Publications

Partnering With the Public Sector: A toolkit for start-ups in the utilities sectors


Wednesday 12 Oct 2022 | Climate | Digital Utilities | Energy | English | Innovation fund and grants | Private-Public | Sanitation | South Asia | Sub-Saharan Africa | Toolkit | Water |

For start-ups and SMEs, partnering with the public sector can be challenging. This new toolkit can help illustrate a pathway through the obstacles to innovative and successful public-private partnerships.

Water Utility Digitalisation in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Experiences from the Kenyan water sector


Thursday 12 May 2022 | Climate | Digital Utilities | English | Innovation fund and grants | Kenya | Report | Sub-Saharan Africa | Water |

This report aims to address this evidence gap by examining the digitalisation journeys of four Kenyan water utilities. Through detailed case studies and interviews with key players in the water sector, we identify important lessons and opportunities.

The Value of Pay-as-you-go Solar for Mobile Operators: Insights from customer journeys in Benin and Cote d’Ivoire


Friday 18 Mar 2022 | Benin | Cote d'Ivoire | Digital Utilities | Energy | English | French | Middle East and North Africa | Mobile access and use | partnership-hub | Private-MNO | Report | Research | Sub-Saharan Africa |

While our previous research clearly demonstrated the benefits quantitatively, it did not shed light on how and why people changed their behaviour. In partnership with MTN in Benin and Orange in Côte d’Ivoire, we conducted a follow-up qualitative study.

Innovative Data for Urban Planning: The Opportunities and Challenges of Public-Private Data Partnerships


Wednesday 21 Jul 2021 | Digital Utilities | Energy | English | partnership-hub | Public-Private | Report | Resilient technology | Sanitation | South Asia | Sub-Saharan Africa | Water |

This report identifies challenges and enablers for data-sharing public-private partnerships (PPPs) that relate to the partnership engagement model, data and technology, regulation and ethics frameworks and evaluation and sustainability.

This initiative is currently funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), and supported by the GSMA and its members.
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