Mobile communications offer major opportunities to advance human development—from providing basic access to health information to making cash payments to stimulating citizen involvement in democratic processes.
Mobile phones have begun to change the way stakeholders across the agricultural value-chain make decisions that can potentially lead to greater efficiencies, reduced transaction costs, and increased incomes.
Mobile technology is helping transform and enhance health care services in developing countries, lowering transaction costs, and delivering more effective health care with limited resources.
Mobile communications and mobile money could become a general platform that transforms entire economies, as it eases financial transactions, facilitates job creation, and generates opportunities for entrepreneurs to innovate, and grow.
This report analyzes the growth and evolution of applications for mobile phones, focusing on their use in agriculture, health and financial services, as well as their impact on employment and government. It also explores the consequences for development of the emerging “app economy”, summarizing current thinking and seeking to inform the debate on the use of mobile phones for development. It’s no longer about the phone itself, but about how it is used, and the content and applications that mobile phones open. Read More (PDF) »
Chapter 1: Overview
The report’s opening chapter provides an overview of the broad trends shaping and redefining our understanding of the word “mobile.” Developing countries are increasingly well placed to exploit the benefits of mobile communications, with levels of access rising around the world. The chapter explores how the bond between mobile operators and users is loosening, as computer and internet companies invade the mobile space. Read More (PDF) »
Chapter 2: Mobilizing the Agricultural Value Chain
Increasingly, specialized mobile services are providing localized information about price, weather and climate, pest control, cultivation practices, and agricultural extension services. Chapter 2 examines the emerging uses of mobile services in agriculture, as well as remote and satellite technologies that are assisting in food traceability, sensory detection, and status updates from the field. Read More (PDF) »
Chapter 3: mHealth
Chapter 3 examines some of the key principles and characteristics of mobile Health (mHealth), and how mobiles are helping transform and enhance the delivery of primary and secondary healthcare services. It reviews on-the-ground implementations of medical healthcare apps to draw key conclusions as to how mHealth can best be implemented to serve the needs of people, as well as identifying the major barriers to be overcome. Read More (PDF) »
Chapter 4: Mobile Money for Financial Inclusion
Chapter 4 looks at the use of mobile money as a general platform and critical infrastructure underpinning other economic sectors. It shows the benefits and potential impact of mobile money, especially for promoting financial inclusion. It provides an overview of the key factors driving the growth of mobile money services, the barriers and obstacles hindering their deployment, and emerging issues that the industry will face over the coming years. Read More (PDF) »
Chapter 5: Mobile Entrepreneurship and Employment
This chapter explores the enormous potential of mobiles for employment, not solely in terms of job creation, but also their ability to facilitate entrepreneurship – especially in populations otherwise disconnected from the economy, encourage development of transferable technical and business skills, match jobs with workers and create opportunities for microwork. Read More (PDF) »
Chapter 6: Making Government Mobile
Governments are beginning to embrace the potential for mobile technology to put public services literally into the pocket of each citizen, create interactive services, and promote accountable and transparent governance. Chapter 6 identifies a range of uses for mobile technology in government that supplement public services, expand their user base, and generate spinoff services. Read More (PDF) »
Chapter 7: Policies for Mobile Broadband
The final chapter distinguishes between supply-side policies (which seek to promote the expansion of wireless broadband networks) and demand-side policies (which seek to boost take-up of wireless broadband services) in the mobile broadband ecosystem. The chapter provides policy recommendations for expanding mobile broadband infrastructure that would address the key bottlenecks of both supply and demand sides of mobile broadband. Read More (PDF) »
Part II: Key Trends in the Development of the Mobile Sector
Part II of the report brings together a range of mobile indicators for over 150 economies. It also reviews the main trends shaping the sector, while a new analytical tool is also introduced for tracking the progress of economies at different levels of economic development in widening access, improving supply and stimulating demand for mobile services. Read More (PDF) »