Global access to mobile technology is growing at a rate that outpaces even access to basic services like electricity, sanitation and banking. In fact, nearly 70 percent of the world’s population has access to a cell phone, even if they don’t personally own one. The widespread availability to this technology has many development organizations, donor agencies and NGOs finding new and innovative ways to provide information and services poor or vulnerable populations. The affordability of mobile phones, combined with open source data and apps, has the potential to transform the landscape of international development. While the speed at which mobile technology is advancing is exciting and invigorating, there are still several challenges to harnessing and scaling the opportunities presented by mobile technology.
“While the mobile sector has grown significantly, scale and sustainability have yet to be achieved.”
While the mobile sector has grown significantly over the last five-to-seven years, scale and sustainability have yet to be achieved. To further explore opportunities and barriers to investment and partnership to scale mobile-enabled technology, The Rockefeller Foundation has supported the work of Mobile for Development Intelligence, an open data research portal for the developing world mobile industry. The report, Scaling Mobile for Development: Harness the Opportunity, analyzes market and user data to provide a fuller picture of activities in the mobile sector and present recommendations on how to accelerate economic, social and environmental impact with mobile solutions.