Leveraging Data for Development to Achieve Your Triple Bottom Line

The Digital Impact Alliance released its second paper in a series focused on the promise of data for development (D4D). DIAL worked with Altai Consulting on both primary and secondary research to inform this paper. Primary research included one-on-one in-depth interviews with more than 50 executives across the data for development value chain, including government officials, civil society leaders, mobile network operators and other private-sector representatives from both developed and emerging markets. These interviews help inform how operators can best tap into the shared value creation opportunities data for development provides and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals profitably.

Key Findings Include

  • There are several critical barriers that have prevented scaled use of mobile data for social good, including 1) unclear market opportunities, 2) not enough collaboration among MNOs, governments and non profit stakeholders and 3) regulatory and privacy concerns.
  • While it may be an ideal time for MNOs to increase their involvement in D4D efforts given the unique data they have that can inform development, market shifts suggest the window of opportunity to implement large-scale D4D initiatives will likely not remain open for much longer.
  • MNOs with advanced data for good capabilities will have the most success in establishing sustainable D4D efforts and achieving triple bottom line mandates.
  • MNOs should focus on providing value-added insights and services rather than raw data and driving pricing and product innovation to meet the sector’s needs.
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