The Community: What You Said

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Oct 13, 2010

Since was founded five years ago, this community has grown tremendously.  We wanted to know from you - the insightful, smart, and innovative community - what’s been helpful, what you want and need, and what we should be doing more (or less) of.

With 5 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide and NGOs large and small adopting mobile tech in their work, and with governments jumping on board as well, this seems to be the year where we collectively broke through an adoption barrier.

In a quick word cloud of responses, mobiles, obviously, were the greatest topic of discussion, but "people," "work," "technology," "information," and "community" made strong showings as well. (We like that people was the second-most used word!)


Three Questions. Many Answers

Our first question focused on where we’ve been, asking: “What are the two most important changes that you have seen in the field of mobile tech for social impact over the last five years?

The five big changes that came up most often in the responses showed off the impressive growth this community has seen – not just in the sheer size and number of mobile phones, but also in how mobiles are used by organizations, and the growing community.  Respondents honed in on:

  • Declining costs (of both handsets and services)
  • Growth in worldwide telephony and mobile availability
  • Growth in interest in M4C and M4D projects from non-tech organizations
  • Greater number of open-source solutions and a thriving open-source community
  • The growth and importance of the mobile web, smartphones, and apps

Next we asked, “How has being part of a peer network like MobileActive been helpful/not helpful in your work?

It’s great to know how you’re using the MobileActive resources and network, and the responses will give us lots to think about as we move forward. Most of you found the peer network/knowledge sharing, and research and case studies of M4D projects around the world useful. Learning/developing skills, seeking advice/getting feedback and following trends in the field were less often reported as useful:


Finally we asked, “What are the top two things you'd like to see this community do/accomplish/build in the next five years?

In your words, here are some of the suggestions for strategic direction of the M4D field in general, and some suggestions for additions and improvements to the MobileActive website and resources.

Suggestions for the M4D Community:


Suggestions for


Thanks to everyone who contributed! It's great to hear what you think about this growing field and community, and our place in it. We appreciated your kind comments and thoughtful suggestions for how we can serve you better. Feel free to leave a comment if you are so moved as well!

Thank you - It’s been a great five years!

[Written with Anoush Rima Tatevossian]


The Community: What You Said data sheet 1973 Views
Countries: United States

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