latin america

On The Relationship Between Socio-Economic Factors and Cell Phone Usage

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Mar 14, 2012
On The Relationship Between Socio-Economic Factors and Cell Phone Usage data sheet 1393 Views
Vanessa Frias-Martinez and Jesus Virseda
Publication Date: 
Mar 2012
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

The ubiquitous presence of cell phones in emerging economies has brought about a wide range of cell phone-based services for low-income groups. Often times, the success of such technologies highly depends on its adaptation to the needs and habits of each social group.

In an attempt to understand how cell phones are being used by citizens in an emerging economy, we present a large-scale study to analyze the relationship between specific socio-economic factors and the way people use cell phones in an emerging economy in Latin America. We propose a novel analytical approach that combines large-scale datasets of cell phone records with countrywide census data to reveal findings at a national level.

Our main results show correlations between socio-economic levels and social network or mobility patterns among others. We also provide analytical models to accurately approximate census variables from cell phone records with R2≈0.82.


Mobile Citizen Project Launches: Incubator Fund for Mobile Projects in Latin America

Posted by CorinneRamey on Oct 20, 2009

The Mobile Citizen Project, which aims to fund and support mobile initiatives for social change in Latin America, launches today. The program is a project of the Science and Technology Division of the Inter-American Development Bank, with the support of the Italian Trust Fund for Information and Communication Technology for Development. is a media partner, powering the Program's "Ideas Box."

According to the project's press release, the "Mobile Citizen Program aims to accelerate the development and implementation of mobile services to address acute social and economic problems. We will provide support to develop citizen-centric solutions that target low-income groups in urban and rural areas of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region."


Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Aug 24, 2009
Tiendatek data sheet 3328 Views
Organization that developed the Tool: 
Main Contact: 
David del Ser
Problem or Need: 

The "mom-and-pop" shops that dot every street in Latin America and the rest of the developing world, despite selling well over 500 different items, typically don't keep any accounts because it is very time consuming to do so with pen and paper and they can't afford a full-blown PC system. As a result, most of these businesses don't know their break-even sales point, cannot analyze an investment opportunity or their cost structure, can't trust family outsiders as employees, don't optimize their inventory or purchasing decisions, find it daunting to take out a loan and in general have a severe lack of clarity on the business status. All these combine to keep the micro-retailers operating in a sub-optimal manner, reducing their profits and limiting their growth.

Main Contact Email : 
Brief Description: 

Tiendatek is an accounting and inventory management tool for small shopkeepers in the developing world. It runs on Android phones and connects to our servers for backup and business advice. The applications will be installed on phones which will then be distributed locally and financed by Microfinance Institutions. In addition, Frogtek will offer an internet-based service to provide the micro-entrepreneur with real-time reporting, analysis, and personalized recommendations to improve business and increase profits.

Tool Category: 
App resides and runs on a mobile phone
Key Features : 

Touchscreen interface to register transactions. Camera phone for barcode reading. Accounts are synchronized with server.

Main Services: 
Tool Maturity: 
Under development/pre-launch
Current Version: 
Program/Code Language: 
Number of Current End Users: 
None/not deployed yet
Number of current beneficiaries: 
Under 100
Languages supported: 
Spanish, English
Handsets/devices supported: 
All Android phones
Is the Tool's Code Available?: 
Is an API available to interface with your tool?: