In April 2017, the Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) organized a workshop with representatives from both the mobile sector as well as the digital service providers (DSPs) in the humanitarian and development space, to understand how the two sectors can work together to leverage core mobile channels to reach underserved populations.
Many interesting ideas emerged, ranging from the identification and support of market and non-market incentives to drive commercial participation, to the alignment of capabilities within the mobile sector to better address the needs of the humanitarian and development sector. As follow up, DIAL has begun exploring in greater detail the opportunity for standard, cross-operator APIs to reduce the time to market for digital services using core mobile services. Concurrently, work has begun to select pilot countries to test ways to aggregate and stimulate mobile demand from DSPs to make it more commercially viable for mobile players.
DIAL believes in a multi-sectoral approach to addressing this problem and is pleased to announce a series of diverse industry partnerships to collaboratively design and test these potential solutions.
- Africa’s Talking is a leading regional player in the Cloud Platforms as a Service (CPaaS) sector within Sub-Saharan Africa, helping us understand the potential of pay-per-use, API-driven service development for rapid, cross-operator service launch.
- Cellulant is a Pan-African FinTech company operating a one-stop payments ecosystem that specializes in cross-network payment platforms, underpinning one of the most important use cases in services for the underserved.
- VotoMobile has developed a cloud-based platform for mobile notifications and surveys, combined with a growing aggregation service of ready-to-use voice and SMS connections across local operators. This allows partners to connect with and gather feedback from large populations simply and rapidly.
- WorldVision International has operations in around 100 countries supporting work in health and nutrition, food security, water and sanitation, disaster response and children in crisis; with substantial experience in digital for development and a strong interest in exploring the further potential of core mobile services in achieving its humanitarian goals
DIAL is seeking additional partnerships to contribute to this work, to ensure that solutions tested balance commercial sustainability with social impact. If you are an NGO or digital service provider with an interest in the use of mobile for reaching the underserved, or if you are a player within the mobile industry with an interest in exploring commercially viable partnerships with the development sector, please let us know!
For further information, please email Kai-Lik Foh, Program Director (Platforms & Services).
Kai-Lik Foh joined the Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) in February 2017 as Program Director of the Mobile Network Integration Initiative, aiming to improve the pace and efficiency of service delivery by the development sector through core mobile channels. He works to identify as well as promote innovative solutions in collaboration between the mobile and development sector, to improve access to basic digital services for the underserved.