Mobile for Development: Using Mobile Technology for Social Causes

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Information about Mobile for Development: Using Mobile Technology for Social Causes

Published on March 10, 2008

Author: evgeny.morozov



This is a presentation given by Evgeny Morozov at BarCamp Baltics in Riga, February 9/2008

Mobile for Development Using mobile technology for social causes by Evgeny Morozov @ BarCamp Baltics February 09, 2008

Plan (kind of) I. Random facts II. Uses of mobile tech III. Opportunities (and problems) IV. OMG, it's finally over

~ 3,3 billion mobile phone subscribers globally

More than 1,1 billion sold last year worldwide

97% of people surveyed in Tanzania said they could access a mobile phone, while just 28% could access a land line phone...

Young people in the US 4.2% more likely to vote after an SMS reminder

Global New Year's SMS traffic: 43 billion messages, 30% up from last year

Japan: of last year's 10 best-selling novels, five were originally mobile phone novels

A 2005 study showed that an increase of 10 mobile phones per 100 people could increase GDP growth by 0.6%

2008: first time an Egyptian court reviews a case of divorce-by-SMS

Kenya: only 19% of the country's 36 million people are reached by traditional banking institutions. BUT virtually have access to the mobile phone.

~1 billion: the number of illiterate people in the world

426,000: the number of mobile phones retired in the US every day.

During this year's State of the Union address, you  could have turned your cell phone into a Bush Lie Detector by signing up for live fact checks  By texting quot;factsquot; to shortdoce 30644, when the President told a lie during the State of the Union, you could have received a text with the truth.

Applications: Development / Economics

“Fish dumping, which averaged about 5 to 8 percent of daily catch before mobile phones, was eliminated. Fishermen’s profits increased on average by 8 percent, while consumer price declined by 4 percent.” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2007

Applications: Health

SMS the word 'HIV' to 31771 followed by their post code or town name. Their two nearest testing locations will be SMS'ed back.

Applications: Social

EpiSurveyor is a free, open source tool enabling anyone to very easily create a handheld data entry form, collect data on a mobile device, and then transfer the data back to a desktop or laptop for analysis

Health+Data mash-up


Applications: Politics, Mobilization, Other

Kenya: ““The Ministry of Internal Security urges you to please desist from sending or forwarding any SMS that may cause public unrest. This may lead to your prosecution.” “

BBC Africa’s Have Your Say received over 3800 and published over 1300 comments after requesting updates from Kenyans


Opportunities: More $ for applications development

Opportunities: Open Handset Alliance

Opportunities: Visual story-telling / Ubiquity

Opportunities: wind/solar charging

Opportunities: Wind-Powered Base Station

Opportunities: p2p transmission

Opportunities: Phone for the Illiterate


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