Mobiles for human development: 2014 Trends and Gaps



Mobiles for human development: 2014 Trends and Gaps

November 15, 2015

The rapid diffusion of mobile technologies around the globe has triggered new opportunities to enhance human development. UNDP and Motorola Solutions have joined forces to support the use of mobile technologies to foster human development and build resilient, sustainable societies. Indeed, mobiles can bring basic services and information to billions of people at the bottom of the pyramid, foster democratic governance by giving people a voice in key decision-making processes that affect their lives, and promote transparency and accountability in both the public and private sectors.


Current research indicates that there is a plethora of both mobile applications and reports on mobile technologies. While this is indeed welcome there are still a gaps that need to be addressed, such as the relationship between the diffusion of mobile technologies and human development - which in turn is quite distinct from economic growth. Another one relates to the apparent duplication of efforts when creating mobile apps which seemingly do not diffuse beyond local and national contexts.


This report aims to contribute to the existing body of knowledge by first focusing on development and developing countries, second, taking a closer look at local innovators, and third, linking social innovation to development priorities. In doing so, the report builds on the data we have collected from both primary and secondary sources to provide evidence-based suggestions on how we can better harness mobile technologies to confront critical development issues in a concrete fashion.