Mobile Digital Skills Alliance
A learning, communications and collaboration network dedicated to the scaling up of mobile digital skills.
What is the Mobile Digital Skills Alliance?
The Mobile Digital Skills Alliance is a learning, communications and collaboration network that brings together global representatives of the mobile and technology industries, international organisations, NGOs and others in response to the mobile digital skills gap in low- and middle-income countries.
Through its informal, open community of like-minded organisations, the Alliance is dedicated to generating and sharing knowledge, disseminating best practices and fostering collaboration that drives the scaling up of mobile digital skills and increases digital inclusion.
The Alliance is currently made up of the below members who share a common goal to improve mobile digital skills in low- and middle-income countries.
atingi | BBC Media Action | BuffaloGrid | Digital Empowerment Foundation | Digital Opportunity Trust | El Media | Google | Huawei | International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) | Internet Society | KaiOS | mEducation Alliance | Millicom | Moana Research | MTN Group | Pro Mujer | UN Development Programme (UNDP) | UNESCO | University of Pennsylvania | UN Women | Vodacom | World Bank | Wikimedia Foundation
“atingi is proud to be a part of an alliance that contributes to its vision of a world in which digital learning is inclusive, accessible, relevant, safe and secure for all. Together, we can unlock our beneficiaries’ potential by offering them high-quality capacity building products for free. The integration of the GSMA’s Mobile Internet Skills Training Toolkit as well as the valuable exchange with the Alliance partners will help us to further enhance the development of digital skills and opportunities all over the world.”
“This alliance brings together an important ecosystem of organizations that are dedicated to expanding digital access and inclusion across the world. Together, we can improve critical digital literacy skills, introduce Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects to new readers, and invite communities in developing markets to participate in the sum of the world’s knowledge.”
The digital divide
By the end of 2020, 51% of the world’s population were using mobile internet, an increase of 225 million since the end of 2019. But there is a persistent digital divide.
The usage gap
3.4 billion people who live in areas covered by a mobile broadband network do not use mobile internet. This usage gap is more pronounced amongst women and rural populations in low- and middle-income countries.
Digital skills barrier
A lack of literacy and digital skills persists as the main barrier to use among mobile users who are aware of mobile internet in low- and middle-income countries surveyed. In 2019, it was reported as the top barrier by a third of respondents.
Mobile digital skills evidence base
Despite the importance of digital skills, a challenge exists in both measuring them and understanding what skills are required by citizens as they progress along the ‘mobile internet customer journey’ – from basic mobile usage, to internet adoption, to using it to meet their needs.
Mobile digital skills initiatives
Most existing digital skills initiatives do not focus on mobile despite the fact that mobile is the primary way most people access the internet. There is a need to equip people with the skills to be digitally included and to safely and effectively use the internet on their mobile. This requires action by a range of stakeholders based on an understanding of the issue and how to tackle it.
Mobile Digital Skills Resources
The Mobile Internet Skills Training Toolkit (MISTT)
The MISTT uses a ‘train the trainer’ approach and consists of short lessons in a PDF format that can be easily adapted to local needs and languages.
How to Design a Mobile Internet Skills Training Toolkit
This Guide provides a clear and easily adaptable framework for designing and delivering contextually specific training in basic mobile internet skills.
Accelerating Digital Literacy: Empowering women to use the mobile internet
This report aims to analyse the challenges women face when accessing mobile internet with low mobile literacy and digital skills.
MTN Data Smart Case Study
This case study provides an overview of the MTN Data Smart campaign and how it has increased mobile internet use among MTN customers in two key markets: Benin and Cameroon.
Understanding People’s Mobile Digital Skills Needs
This report examines mobile digital skills needs in two countries, India and Ghana, and explores the dynamics around the development of digital skills, particularly in relation to mobile internet.
Enabling Women’s Financial Inclusion through Digital Financial Literacy
This report aims to help the financial inclusion community understand digital financial literacy and better address this component of the digital financial services gender gap.
BBC Media Action
Increasing women’s digital literacy in India: what works
This report shares the results of a landscaping study to review key initiatives that aimed to improve women’s digital literacy in India, to identify what has worked and what has not, and what gaps in evidence exist.
Multiplying the Impact of Mobile Internet Skills Training
This case study explores how digital skills are shared following training, using evidence from a mobile internet skills training pilot by MTN Uganda. Read recommendations for disseminating mobile digital skills more widely and increasing digital inclusion.
Developing mobile digital skills in low- and middle-income countries
This report provides four key steps for developing strategies and interventions to drive mobile digital skills development in low- and middle-income countries, with key insights and learnings from our research.
Join the Mobile Digital Skills Alliance
Is your organisation working to scale up mobile digital skills in low- and middle-income countries?
If you’re interested in becoming a member of the Mobile Digital Skills Alliance or would like to find out more about what being a member involves, we’d love to hear from you.Get in Touch
The Mobile Digital Skills Alliance is an initiative of the GSMA Connected Society programme which is funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). The views expressed through the Alliance are not necessarily those of the UK government.