Digital Utilities

Digital Utilities

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

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.
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Latest Publications

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


Wednesday 21 Jul 2021 | Digital Utilities | Energy | English | 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.

Scaling Digital Solutions in the Water Sector – Lessons from CityTaps and Wonderkid


Thursday 3 Dec 2020 | Digital Utilities | English | Innovation fund and grants | Mobile access and use | Sub-Saharan Africa | Water |

In Sub-Saharan Africa, just under 25 per cent of urban households have access to piped water. Inequalities in service provision mean that many people in low-income areas rely on informal service providers, and often pay more ...

The Value of Pay-as-you-go Solar for Mobile Operators


Thursday 30 Apr 2020 | Building the financial ecosystem | Digital Utilities | Energy | English | Mobile access and use | Policy and regulation | Report | Research | Sub-Saharan Africa |

This study aims to measure the underlying value that exists in these partnerships for mobile operators by analysing PAYG clients data from five different countries (Uganda, Rwanda, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, and Zambia) over a 12 month period.

Digital Solutions for the Urban Poor


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.

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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