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Mobile phones

MCS works on projects focused on the practical use of mobile phones in addressing development challenges, policy issues and research. In partnership with Development Research Network in Bangladesh, MCS has developed algorithm based research tool for communication and development audits that will systematically identify mobile communications solutions for rural women’s health problems in Bangladesh. MCS is also creating a research model to understand the impact of mobile phones on the social interactions and associated economic opportunities of citizens.


Mobile phones are becoming an important social, political and development tool which can: be used by communities to organize themselves; support peer to peer networking; and improve access to services such as health, education and banking. Mobile phones, for instance, have brought previously-unbanked poor communities into the world of innovative mobile banking, effectively increasing their access to credit sources.


Development organizations use mobile phones for campaigns, bulk distribution of text alerts (e.g. to remind patients to take their prescriptions), eliminating intermediaries (e.g. providing people with direct access to prices), and enabling ordinary citizens to report incidents. While these initiatives are innovative, the systematic and strategic use of mobile phones to support the needs of communities is still evolving. There is also a need for more rigorous analysis of the impact of mobile phones on communities.