MobileActive Writes in InterAction's "Monday Developments"

Posted by CorinneRamey on Mar 09, 2008


February 2008|Monday Developments: Mapping the Future of International Relief and Development

Can You Hear Me Now? New Uses for a Ubiquitous Device by Katrin Verclas

EXCERPT: In the past decade, non-govern-mental organizations (NGOs) have been making strides in adapting existing technologies and adopting new ones to deliver programs, engage with constituents and raise visibility. One technology finding new life among NGOs is the cellphone. Cellphones have become the most ubiquitous communication device in human hands, with an estimated 3.5 billion in use and coverage extending even to the remotest corners of the world. With each new generation, they are becoming more powerful multi-function devices, used for taking pictures, finding locations, handling complex data and payment services. Fishermen in India, using cellphones to transmit and negotiate prices directly from their boat, have increased profits by eight percent while cutting consumer prices by four percent. Elsewhere, day laborers receive job information through cellphones and rural farmers access weather and agricultural information. In microfinance organizations, trials are underway to transmit lending data via cellphones to conduct on-the-spot credit assessments and track payments.

Download the report here to read the complete article on pages 34 and 35.