financial services

Connected Agriculture: The role of mobile in driving efficiency and sustainability in the food and agriculture value chain

Posted by EKStallings on Oct 25, 2011
Connected Agriculture: The role of mobile in driving efficiency and sustainability in the food and agriculture value chain data sheet 843 Views
Kirk, Matthew, Julie Steele, Christèle Delbé, Laura Crow, Steven Yurisich, Barry Nee, Gareth Weir, Kathryn Brownlie, Oliver Grange
Publication Date: 
Oct 2011
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

This report focuses on the opportunity to improve agricultural productivity using mobile services, highlighting the opportunity to bring new investment to a key group: smallholder farmers. Mobile telephony could have significant potential to help the poorest farmers towards greater food and income security.

Only in recent years that mobile communications technology has been widely accepted as an enabler of sustainable growth. In developing markets, where the deployment of mobile telecommunications networks has surpassed traditional fixed-line technology, the mobile telecoms industry is well-placed as an enabler of higher performance in the value chain. There is a distinct need for market-led opportunities, and the opportunity for mobile operators to deliver these is significant.

The mobile services studied here enable companies to access and interact directly with different participants in the value chain, helping to build visibility of issues, capacity and quality. They will support company sustainability objectives, and in particular, progress towards the UN Millennium Development Goals by helping to reduce poverty, improve health and increase funding for education.

This report aims to stimulate the necessary engagement between mobile operators, governments, NGOs and businesses to realize these opportunities and explore others.


Scaling Up Without Falling Short: Leveraging Mobile Tech for the Base of the Pyramid

Posted by EKStallings on Oct 19, 2011

Despite possibilities of scaling projects with technology, many technology-based initiatives in social and economic development have failed to make it past early pilot stages or grow to scale. This study by Hystra, in collaboration with Ashoka and TNO, examines what successful ventures within four sectors can teach us about models for scaling Information and Communications Technology (ICT) -based applications and projects aimed at reaching bottom-of-the-pyramid customers (referred to as Base of the Pyramid in the report). The researchers focused specifically on these sectors: education, health, agricultural services, and financial services.

What Did the Study Review?

Initially considering 280 projects as promising models, researchers found that over half were not worth researching because projects lacked sustainability or replicatibility. Many of the projects were dead pilot projects or were small with no sign of the possibility or intent of scaling in size or reach.

From there, researchers homed in on 16 groundbreaking cases. These projects had reached scale (defined as having 10,000 clients or more) or had the potential to do so. All projects were assessed against three criteria: Is the solution solving the (specified) problem? Is the project economically viable? Is the project scalable and replicable? The researchers grouped projects into specific clusters based on business model type. All projects researched were value-added or market-based, because of the researchers’ belief that such models increase project sustainability and client investment in the project.

The models that the researchers looked at varied. For instance, researchers asked whether end-users accessed the technology themselves as opposed to being delivered trough an intermediary.

Leveraging Information and Communication Technology for the Base of the Pyramid

Posted by EKStallings on Oct 14, 2011
Leveraging Information and Communication Technology for the Base of the Pyramid data sheet 1161 Views
Carvalho, Alexandre de, Lucie Klarsfeld, Francois Lepicard
Publication Date: 
Sep 2011
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

This document presents the conclusions of the study “Leveraging ICT for the BoP” sponsored by AFD-Proparco, Ericsson, ICCO, France Telecom-Orange, and TNO and conducted by Hystra and Ashoka from October 2010 to June 2011.

This study aimed to learn from “what works” in terms of full projects (as opposed to technologies) combining both an economically viable model and socio-economic impacts on their end-users, in the field of ICT for development (ICT4D). This work is thus based on the screening of existing projects led by various types of actors (social entrepreneurs, NGOs, private companies…), in 4 sectors of “development” where ICT has already shown it could play a key role: healthcare, education, agriculture, and financial services. 15 of the most ground breaking market-based business models, with a proven scale and results on the ground showing that ICT can be a lever improving the living standards of the BoP, are analysed in depth in the report to support the main conclusions.



Mobile Phones and Financial Services in Developing Countries: A Review of Concepts, Methods, Issues, Evidence and Future R...

Posted by LeighJaschke on Aug 05, 2009
Mobile Phones and Financial Services in Developing Countries: A Review of Concepts, Methods, Issues, Evidence and Future R... data sheet 1318 Views
Duncombe Richard; Boateng Richard
Publication Date: 
Jun 2009
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

Research concerning mobile phones and financial services in developing countries has undergone rapid growth in recent years. This paper seeks to improve understanding of this expanding research area and in so doing consider the potential for mobile phone applications for the delivery of financial services for the poor. The current state of knowledge is assessed by reviewing the content of 43 research articles drawn from both peer-reviewed academic journals and non-peer reviewed studies and other practitioner-orientated sources. A framework is developed that categorises and analyses the research according to a socio-technical spectrum, identifying levels of analysis and differentiating research activity according to a lifecycle model that incorporates financial needs, design and applications, adoption and adaptation, and impact. Positive aspects of research to-date are identified, most noticeably the high level of practitioner involvement in research publication and the strong links that have been forged between the mobile phone industry and the research community. This, however, has also caused research to become too narrowly defined and largely a- theoretical. Hence, research weaknesses and gaps are also identified suggesting that issues relating to financial needs and the measurement of impacts have been comparatively neglected, whilst application design and adoption have received greater attention. Emphasis tends to be on devices and new ways to deliver services, but ignores the broader context of financial services for the poor and tends to be technology-led. In order to correct this imbalance in research, the paper identifies key research gaps relating to concepts, methodologies, issues addressed and evidence presented and provides pointers to future research directions.


Future of Media Report

Posted by LeighJaschke on Jul 15, 2009
Future of Media Report data sheet 2909 Views
Future Exploration Network
Publication Date: 
Jul 2008
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

We are entering the media economy. The
traditional boundaries of the media and
entertainment industry have become
meaningless. Today almost every
business and social activity is a form
of media. An increasing proportion of
our social interactions happen across
media channels. Every organization is
now a media entity, engaged in creating
and disseminating messages among its
staff, customers, and partners to achieve
business objectives. As the physical economy
becomes marginalized and economic value
becomes centered on the virtual, media
encompasses almost everything.
At the same time, many media organizations are experiencing
severe challenges, as content proliferates, audiences change
behaviors, advertising revenue erodes, and new competitors
emerge. Others are prospering as they tap swiftly growing
sectors, leverage amateur content creation, tap the power of
social networks, and scale production costs. Meanwhile adjacent
industries such as telecom, financial services, mobile phones,
consumer electronics, professional services, and even automobile
are becoming media participants. This year's Report contents include:
* Growth Forecasts for the Global Media Market
* Seven Driving Forces Shaping Media
* Future of the Media Lifecycle
* Future of Media: Strategy Tools
* Media Snippets

New Institute for Money, Technology, and Financial Inclusion Funded by Gates Foundation

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Sep 24, 2008

More news on mobile banking for the world's poorest.  The University of California, Irvine has announced a $1.7 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a research institute focused on the growing use of mobile technology in providing banking and financial services to individuals in developing countries.