Managing Director, Hexolabs Interactive Technologies Pvt. Ltd.


This conversation is closed.

Help a TED Fellow with Research: Impact of Mobile internet on emerging economies

My current research focuses on how mobile internet creates opportunities for better quality of life, improved productivity and economic growth in developing world. I am looking for case studies that are specific to latin america and africa. Pls share your thoughts.

  • Aug 11 2011: You may be interested in talking to this company, they have a nice solution that appears to be working well:
    Medic Mobile develops and extends existing open-source platforms, including FrontlineSMS, OpenMRS, Ushahidi, Google Apps, and HealthMap. These tools support community health worker coordination and management, community mobilization for vaccination and satellite clinics, logistics and supply chain management, referrals, routine data collection, and mapping of health services.

    There is also some useful case studies to be found in the PSFK presents Future Of Health even if it is a year old

    Also why not contact Vodaphone mHealth, they are actively engaged on solutions for the developing world

    And lastly but not least, there is a eHealth & Telemedicine journal , which includes excellent and scientifically critiqued examples/case studies from around the world including the developing countries

    I hope this helps


  • thumb
    Aug 9 2011: I would encourage you to investigate Jonathan Donner's work. He is a researcher of the impact on mobiles in the developing world (economic, social and more) for Microsoft Research.

    See his work at:
  • thumb
    Aug 11 2011: I think a great case study to look at would be the Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus' work in Bangladesh. His microfinancing operation that gives small loans to woman entrepreneurs gave way to great, unexpected consequences. One woman used her loan to start a cell phone rental service. Since cell phones were not yet ubiquitous in that particular of Bangladesh, many people relied on this woman to handle business outside the village. Many other women started similar businesses. Cell phones, of course, need electricity in order to charge. The women thus preceded to campaign for electricity in rural areas. A couple years later, Bangladesh went from being in a country with little electricity to a country in which electricity was enjoyed by most. I only heard this story when Mr. Yunus came to my city for a speaking engagement. If you would like to use this story as a case study I would recommend that you pick up his book, "Banker to the Poor." It might have far more details in there. Hope this helps! Good luck with your project
  • thumb
    Aug 9 2011: Take a look at the work Praekelt Foundation is doing:
    And view Gustav Praekelt's TEDxStellenbosch video here:
  • thumb
    Aug 9 2011: Jan Chipchase would be a good addition to your TED talks above.

    Also Openideo competitions escpcially the ones sponsored by sony and nokia and the recent Grameen Creative lab in Caldas example. (Hundreds of inspirations on this topic.)

    My main question before commenting further is what timeline are you looking at? technologies existing in emerging economies or include speculation of cheaper smart phones and communications that will come in the future.
  • Aug 9 2011: Raja,
    The UN and ITU's Broadband Commission is leading the way on aggregating studies on the impact of the Internet in the developing world. Check out their recent publication, especially the charts with the different studies.
    I wrote a recent blogpost about this topic and featuring different studies:
    And I am in contact with Dr. Mark Graham, at Oxford's Internet Institute. He is doing a DFID funded research project on the economic impacts of broadband in east africa.
    Please feel free to reach out to me. or @jeffswin on twitter. I'd like to hear more about your research.

  • thumb
    Aug 9 2011: Raja, how about aspects of basic rights or needs? Food - where to buy and how to cultivate. Shelter - design collaboration like the work of Cameron Sinclair. Education Khan Academy style? Security - local coordination or connection to national or global security forces. Work - classified ads and employer networks. Healthcare - natural care or common cures and access to medicine.

    Aspects of national and global awareness. Mobile internet can help transparency and accountability in government and business.
  • Aug 9 2011: That was so thoughtful of you. I have come across mobile services in Education, security, work and healthcare to some extent but not Food and shelter. I believe virtue of mobile communication could be very well be extended to these areas. I would be keen to more about mobile internet based value added services in your region.