ADL Mobile Learning Handbook

Title: ADL Mobile Learning Handbook
Author: Judy Brown, Jason Haag
Publisher: The Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative
Date (published): 2011
Date (accessed): 12/08/2011
Type of information: handbook
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"ADL Overview

The Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative is a collaborative effort to harness the power of information technologies to deliver high quality, easily accessible, adaptable, and cost-effective education and training. ADL uses structured and collaborative methods to convene multi-national groups from industry, academia, and government who help to define the specifications and standards for the learning industry and then develop tools and content to those standards.

ADL is sponsored by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (OUSD P&R). This is an official app of the U.S. Government Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative.
...
This ADL Mobile Learning Handbook is compilation of mobile learning resources. This is a living document and will be regularly updated.
...
This Handbook is separated into ten sections:
Basics - What mobile learning (or mLearning) means, its capabilities and use opportunities, potential benefits and common concerns.
Planning - List of choices to consider for appropriate use of mobile devices in learning, including questions to assist in planning.
Examples - Examples of mobile learning projects and initiatives of interest.
Best Practices - Lists of tips for instructional designers and developers.
Learning Content - Tips and best practices for mobile learning.
Development Options - Tools, native applications and mobile web apps; pros and cons of both types.
Design Considerations - Information on hardware models, features, operating systems, displays, accessibility, connectivity and other advanced mobile capabilities.
Mobile Learning Tools - Products available for the creation, deployment and management of mobile content.
Resources - Recommended links for additional information on mobile learning.
Glossary definitions."

Saving On The Mobile: Developing Innovative Financial Services to Suit Poor Users

Title: Saving On The Mobile: Developing Innovative Financial Services to Suit Poor Users
Source: AppLab blog (Grameen Foundation)
Date (published): 11/08/2011
Date (accessed): 12/08/2011
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"Grameen Foundation’s Sean Krepp and Dr. Olga Morawczynski recently published this paper on Saving on the Mobile in the World Economic Forum’s Mobile Financial Services Development Report 2011.

Savings on mobile money
A recent survey of over 2,000 Kenyan households found that 89% of respondents used M-PESA, a Kenyan mobile money (MM) application, “to save” (Suri and Jack, 2010). Dr. Morawczynski confirmed this finding after spending over 18 months studying the financial habits of resource poor M-PESA users in two locations: an urban slum called Kibera and village in Western Kenya called Bukura (Morawczynski, 2010). The study found that M-PESA was integrated into the financial portfolios and acted as a complement, rather than a substitute, to other mechanisms. This paper expands on these findings by disaggregating the term “savings” and focusing on behavior.

Four scenarios have been developed to explain how and why resource poor individuals use MM as a savings mechanism. These scenarios describe the frequency of transactions and the costs associated with each form of savings. A case study accompanies each scenario to explain the circumstances leading to the savings behavior.

Two MM applications are central to this analysis— M-PESA in Kenya and MobileMoney in Uganda. Product ideas are derived from analysis of practices. To “go beyond payments” and be relevant to poor users, mobile applications must be designed to fit into existing practices rather than trying to change or displace them."

Mobile Financial Services Development Report 2011

Title: Mobile Financial Services Development Report 2011
Pages: 221 pp.
ISBN: 978-92-95044-80-7
Publisher: World Economic Forum
Date (published): 16/05/2011
Date (accessed): 12/08/2011
Type of information: research report
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTMl + pdf + zip)
Abstract:
"The Mobile Financial Services Development Report 2011 provides a comprehensive analysis of more than 100 variables across 20 countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia. Developed in conjunction with the Boston Consulting Group, the report measures the critical factors necessary to achieve meaningful scale of mobile financial services and to meet the needs of billions of individuals excluded from the formal economy.

Defining mobile financial services devel­opment in terms of the key drivers across the institu­tional, market and end-user environments that lead to adoption and scale, the aim of the Report is to build consensus by proposing a taxonomy and analytic structure for assessing the mobile finance landscape in addition to the provision of a comprehensive data set.

The report takes a wide-ranging view in assessing the factors that contribute to the long-term development of mobile financial services. Along with including mobile payments and transfers, vital financial services such as savings, credit, and insurance are also within the Report’s scope.

Measures of mobile financial services development are captured across seven pillars:

Regulatory proportionality
Consumer protection
Market competitiveness
Market catalysts
End-user empowerment and access
Distribution and agent network
Adoption and availability

The report highlights that the adoption of mobile financial services is currently confined to a few countries where access to financial services has been historically constrained and the scope of services limited to mobile money transfer. The findings also suggest that the adoption of financial services such as savings, credit and micro-insurance are nascent and that regulatory environments, market competitiveness and the financial literacy of end-users all need to be collaboratively addressed before meaningful scale can be achieved.

Countries such as Kenya and the Philippines are among the few countries covered by the report that have achieved adoption levels of more than 10% of their total adult population. A defining characteristic of these countries is a dense network of agents – retail access points that are capable of registering account holders and handling cash transactions. However, as these countries look to achieve scale beyond payments, focusing on factors such as government disbursements through the mobile platform, the competitiveness of their financial and telecom sectors, and better data collection to facilitate “test and learn” approaches will need to become a priority.

Several countries such as Brazil and India demonstrate relative strengths when compared to those countries that have currently achieved scale in mobile payments. The ability to leverage existing agent networks and consumer protection in Brazil may facilitate the development of more complex financial services through the mobile platform. The widespread availability of mobile phones within India, the degree of competition within its telecommunications sector and recent regulatory changes may drive dramatic improvements in adoption levels."

Open-source cell phone network could cut costs to $2 per month

Title: Open-source cell phone network could cut costs to $2 per month
Author: Michael Riggs
Source: e-Agriculture
Date (published): 05/08/2011
Date (accessed): 11/08/2011
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"Think what this could mean in the developing world, in remote areas and in rural locations where the population density is too low for current mobile operators to invest.

According to the team behind OpenBTS, this cellular network can be installed and operated at about 1/10 the cost of current technologies, but is still compatible with most of the handsets that are already in the market. The technology can also be used in private network applications. It has already been tested in the physically challenging environment of the Nevada (USA) desert and on the island of Niue.

Read more on Engineering for Change at http://bit.ly/oNTCvR or NetworkWorld at http://bit.ly/orai2p

For technical information, source code and more, see the Knowledge Base reference or go directly to the source at http://openbts.sourceforge.net/."

Open Source Effort Will Deliver Low-Cost Wi-Fi for All

Title: Open Source Effort Will Deliver Low-Cost Wi-Fi for All
Author: Katherine Noyes
Source: PCWorld
Date (published): 05/08/2011
Date (accessed): 11/08/2011
Type of information: article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"One of the great things about open source software is that it doesn't just bring a wealth of benefits to businesses. Rather, by making low-cost, high-quality software widely available to everyone, it also has the potential to change lives around the world.

Most of us are familiar with the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) effort to put low-cost computer hardware in the hands of the world's poorest people, but a like-minded project that's less well-known aims to do something similar with Internet access.

The goal is to develop low-cost, open source Wi-Fi software, and on Wednesday Geeks Without Frontiers--an initiative of the not for-profit Manna Energy Foundation--announced the final development of just such a solution.

'Millions More People'
Facilitated by a grant from the Tides Foundation, the new open80211s (o11s) technology will enable the development and rollout of large-scale mesh Wi-Fi networks for roughly half the cost of a traditional network, says Geeks Without Frontiers. Designed to use existing hardware to minimize cost and maximize availability, it's expected to be particularly important in areas where legacy broadband models are currently considered to be nonviable economically.

Built primarily by Cozybit, the technology is managed by Geeks Without Frontiers and I-Net Solutions and sponsored by Google, Global Connect, Nortel, OLPC and the Manna Energy Foundation.

“By driving down the cost of metropolitan and village scale Wi-Fi networks, millions more people will be able to reap the economic and social benefits of significantly lower cost Internet access,” explained Michael Potter, one of the founders of the Geeks Without Frontiers initiative."

UN, Bhutan tie up in ICT capability project

Title: UN, Bhutan tie up in ICT capability project
Author: Pia Rufino
Source: FutureGov
Date (published): 18/07/2011
Date (accessed): 10/08/2011
Type of information: article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"The UN and Bhutan government has launched an ICT capacity development programme through an academy to boost the ICT skills of the government officials in Himalayan kingdom.

The United Nations Asian and Pacific Training Centre for Information and Communication Technology for Development (UN-APCICT/ESCAP), with the support of Bhutan’s Ministry of Information and Communication (MoIC) has launched the academy called Academy of ICT Essentials for Government Leaders.
...
The Academy is APCICT’s flagship training programme made up of a comprehensive ICT for development curriculum designed to equip government leaders with the necessary skills and knowledge to leverage ICT for socio-economic development.
...
The launch of the Academy includes a five-day workshop that covers three training modules: 1) The Linkage between ICT Applications and Meaningful Development; 2) ICT for Development Policy, Process and Governance; and 3) Options for Funding ICT for Development."

Measure Contribution, Not Impact, of ICTs

Title: Measure Contribution, Not Impact, of ICTs
Author: Jeffrey Swindle
Source: Connectivity for Development
Publisher: USAID
Date (published): 09/08/2011
Date (accessed): 10/08/2011
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"Randomized control trials (RCTs) cannot capture the full impact of ICTs on human development because ICTs have inherently ambiguous and emergent effects. However, RCTs can capture particular impacts of ICTs, but they cannot tell the whole story. Evaluations of ICT4D initiatives should concentrate instead on the contribution of ICTs to human development.

In the past few years, academics and practitioners alike have advocated for measuring the contributions to human development and capabilities of ICT4D projects. They have learned over the past decade that ICTs have various levels of impact on many aspects of social life. They can completely revamp cultures, like the mobile phone has, or they can but countries into serious debt, like many state-subsidized computer education programs, with little to no impact. The ways in which people utilize ICTs is often different than development workers initially expect. As Amartya Sen expressed, “a lot of the advantages that come from mobile phone will not have a predictability feature…There are ways in which predictability of these [technologies] will defeat us.”

If traditional econometric approaches to monitoring and evaluating development projects do not capture the full contribution of ICTs on human development, then how can ICTs’ contributions be measured?"

Development Connections: Unveiling the Impact of New Information Technologies/Conexiones del desarrollo: Impacto de las nuevas tecnologías de la información

Title: Development Connections: Unveiling the Impact of New Information Technologies/Conexiones del desarrollo: Impacto de las nuevas tecnologías de la información
Editor: Alberto Chong
Pages: pp. 352
ISBN: The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
Source: The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Date (published): 29/03/2011
Date (accessed): 10/08/2011
Type of information: research monograph
Language: English, Spanish
English version (Amazon)
Spanish version (Fondo de Cultura Economica)
Executive summary (pdf)
Resumen ejecutivo (pdf)
Abstract:
"Can information and communication technology contribute to economic development?

Policymakers and academics agree that computers, the Internet, mobile telephones and other information and communication technologies can be beneficial for economic and social development. But how strong is the impact? What conditions influence their effectiveness on development? The IDB took a bold step to apply strict statistical tools in a systematic way to evaluate how these technologies contributed to the success of several development projects in the region.

The Development in the Americas (DIA) series is the flagship publication of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Each year the IDB presents an in-depth comparative study of an issue of concern to Latin America and the Caribbean. This year’s edition, titled Development Connections: Unveiling the Impact of New Information Technologies, reviews recent advances in the world of Information Communication Technologies (ICT)—cell phones, computers, internet—and uses rigorous methods to evaluate their impact on the welfare of societies. It finds that greater access to ICTs alone cannot bring about economic development in the region. The quality of institutions and regulations, people’s skills, and physical infrastructure are crucial for ICTs to have a positive impact on development. Prior to investing in acquiring and expanding access to ICTs, governments must evaluate and strengthen their countries’ capacity to use them.
This executive summary describes the motivation behind this book, the methodologies used, and both the breadth and limits of the studies. The impact evaluations on which the book is based cover the use of ICT in finance, institutions, education, health, the environment, and labor, as evidenced in the table of contents of the report presented on the next page. Together, this summary and the table of contents provide just a taste of the rich information and innovative approach that distinguish this year’s edition of the DIA.

Table of Contents
About the Contributors
Preface List of Boxes
List of Figures
List of Tables
Acknowledgments
1. A Field of Dreams or a Dream Come True?
2. The Region’s Place in the Digital World: A Tale of Three Divides
3. Banking on Technology for Financial Inclusion
4. Rewiring Institutions
5. TechFever in the Health Sector
6. Computers in Schools: Why Governments Should Do their Homework
7. Help or Hindrance? ICT’s Impact on the Environment
8. Development.com: Using ICTs to Escape Poverty?
References Index"

See also:
Development Connections: Unveiling the Impact of New Information Technologies
presentation by Eduardo Lora, 28 July 2011, Kingston, Jamaica (ppt, 6.5 MB)

Development Connections: ICTs in Latin America

Title: Development Connections: ICTs in Latin America
Editor: Rita Funaro
Pages: 16 pp.
Source: IDEA Ideas for Development in the Americas, Volume 24
Publisher: Inter-American Development Bank
Date (published): March 2011
Date (accessed): 10/08/2011
Type of information: newsletter
Language: English, Spanish
On-line access: yes (HTML + pdf)
Abstract:
"Information and communication technologies (ICT)--cell phones, computers, Internet--hold great promise but greater access alone cannot bring about economic development. This is a major finding of the IDB's latest edition of its flagship Development in the Americas series titled Development Connections: Unveiling the Impact of New Information Technologies. This edition of IDEA draws on this book to explore what works and doesn't work in the regional context and to help uncover how to best tap the potential of ICTs for the advancement of Latin America and the Caribbean."

South Africa mobile Internet usage soars to 39%

Title: South Africa mobile Internet usage soars to 39%
Source: IT News Africa
Date (published): 10/08/2011
Date (accessed): 10/08/2011
Type of information: article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"The Mobility 2011 research project, conducted by World Wide Worx and backed by First National Bank (FNB), reveals that 39% of urban South Africans and 27% of rural users are now browsing the Internet on their phones.
The study excludes “deep rural” users, and represents around 20-million South Africans aged 16 and above. This means that at least 6-million South Africans now have Internet access on their phones.
...
The most dramatic shift of all, however, is the arrival of e-mail in the rural user-base and its growth among urban users. There has been a substantial shift among the latter, with urban use rising from 10% in 2009 to 27% at the end of 2010. While the percentage growth among rural users is lower, the fact that it was almost non-existent a year before means the 12% penetration reported for 2010 indicates mobile e-mail becoming a mainstream tool across the population."

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