The rapid growth of mobile telephony has significantly changed the traditional way of communication. As an affordable and accessible means of communication, even rural communities have realised the potential of mobile telephony to create economic opportunities and strengthen their social networks. Mobile phones, by virtue of their role as carriers and conduits of information, ought to lessen the information asymmetries in markets, thereby making rural and undeveloped markets more efficient. It is no longer just an audio communication tool, but enables access to information anywhere and anytime. It offers means for collecting information and sensing behaviour as well as for presenting recommendations.
Given UNICEF’s focus on sustainable and effective communications for development thrust involving the isolated and vulnerable groups, mobile application-based services are likely to prove valuable in achieving programming goals. Apart from connectivity and access for the deprived groups and communities, mobile phones provide cost effective interventions, enable to overcome bottlenecks to access and deliver services, and allow communities to maximise the impact of available resources.
Keeping this in mind, Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) and UNICEF India initiated a project, ‘Mobiles for Social and Behaviour Change (MSBC)’, to dive into the depth of various projects where mobiles are being effectively used by frontline workers in areas of health, education, nutrition, child protection, and monitoring and training of frontline workers. The project aims to study concerns around MSBC and create a formidable platform to provide knowledge on diverse MSBC implemented projects and help in developing partnerships between state governments and MSBC players.
The research report analyses 14 projects broadly into three categories – civic participation, education and health.
Read the full report here