“In developing countries, citizens are increasingly using mobile phones to create new livelihoods and enhance their lifestyles, while governments are using them to improve service delivery and citizen feedback mechanisms,” according to the “Information and Communications for Development 2012: Maximizing Mobile” report.
“Mobile communications offer major opportunities to advance human and economic development – from providing basic access to health information to making cash payments, spurring job creation, and stimulating citizen involvement in democratic processes,” commented World Bank vice president for Sustainable Development Rachel Kyte.
The third in the World Bank’s series on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for Development, this latest report on mobile phones and technologies analyzes the growth and evolution of mobile telephony and the rise of data-based services, including apps, to handheld devices. The consequences for development of the emerging “app economy” are investigated, particularly as they pertain to agriculture, health, financial services and government, as is how it’s changing approaches to entrepreneurship and employment, the authors explain.
“The mobile revolution is right at the start of its growth curve: mobile devices are becoming cheaper and more powerful while networks are doubling in bandwidth roughly every 18 months and expanding into rural areas,” noted Tim Kelly, lead ICT policy specialist at the World Bank and one of the report’s authors.
Examples cited in the World Bank-infoDev press release include:
In India, the state of Kerala’s mGovernment program has deployed over 20 applications and facilitated more than 3 million interactions between the government and citizens since its launch in December 2010.