UNICEF Mobiles4Development Project

Client name: UNICEF Innovations Unit
Duration: November 2009 – October 2010


The project undertook an “external mapping” exercise in order to develop a brief overview of trends in the mobile telephone sector, especially in respect of:

  • Mobile penetration and subscriber rates
  • Internet penetration
  • Price of mobile services
  • Regional operators’ business strategies
  • Regional operators’ corporate social responsibility (csr) focuses
  • Services
  • Mobile infrastructure

Also to identify key issues concerning the development and use of M4D initiatives in each country . These issues include what type of non-voice and non peer-to-peer SMS mobile services are most popular and why; key challenges to developing and using mobile applications, content and services; the capacity of the M4D community; operators’ attitudes towards developing M4D services; operators’ current corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities and their attitudes to working with UNICEF and other development organizations

Expected impact

    • The purpose of the Mobiles for Development study is to help UNICEF, and the wider development community, understand the global mobile landscape both as it currently relates to advancing development and as an area of significant future opportunities.

In addition, the study aimed to, where appropriate, recommend innovative approaches for strategic, long-term collaborations with mobile service providers to advance UNICEF’s goals.

Ultimately, therefore, the recommendations are intended to help UNICEF refine its approach to engagement with the mobile sector on a global and regional level, and to get the best value for the organization at a country level for particular projects and programmes.

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Case Studies: Mobiles for Development

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