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Motorola Solutions Foundation and UNDP release new research report: Increasing the potential of mobile technologies to advance human development

09 Feb 2015


The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Motorola Solutions Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Motorola Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MSI), today announced new research findings to help developing countries, social innovators, policy makers and development practitioners identify and address key socio-economic gaps that obstruct advancements in human development.

The UNDP Mobiles for Human Development 2014: Trends and Gaps report compiled and analysed almost 2,500 cases worldwide of practitioners (government institutions, private sector or civil society organisations, and individuals) using mobile technologies to improve the delivery of basic services and information, foster transparency and accountability in both public and private sectors, and enhance human development.

Patrick Keuleers, Director of Governance and Peacebuilding, UNDP Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) stated, “The research has highlighted critical gaps that need to be addressed by development practitioners, social innovators and application developers at the global, national and local levels. One gap we could address together is how to link innovations in mobile apps with development efforts. This research report helps to frame our thinking on how to support further mobile engagement in the implementation and monitoring of the new Sustainable Development Goals which will be part of the UN post-2015 development agenda.”

Research findings note that the use of mobile technologies for development (M4D) is pervasive. Half of M4D activities sampled for this study focus on poverty reduction, while the rest focus on education, followed by health and governance.. When it comes to M4D activities in health, half takes place in Africa, with Eastern Africa leading in the efforts to address HIV and  to strengthen health systems.

Half of all M4D activities related to improvements in governance are focused on access to information and e-governance, and 18 percent of total M4D activity is aimed at fostering civic engagement, with Latin America leading all regions. Industrialized countries recorded the largest share of M4D activities related to education, encompassing ICTs for education, lifelong learning, mobile-learning and open knowledge.

In terms of gaps, activities on e-business (which includes m-business), m-learning and m-health seem to be lagging vis-a-vis other subcategories. Also, there is an overall gap in the use of M4D in support of gender equality and women’s empowerment in all regions and sub-regions. Eastern Africa accounts for 73 percent of all global M4D activity related to information and e-governance. However, across the African continent, mobile access to justice, human rights, elections and legislatures continue to record low activity at regional and sub-regional levels.

Private sector development generates most of the M4D activity in Africa, helping the region to lead globally in financial inclusion, especially in Eastern Africa. However, small and medium enterprise developments and e-business activities remain weak throughout all African regions and sub-regions.

Matt Blakely, Director, Motorola Solutions Foundation stated, “The research helps to pinpoint success factors such as greater localisation, specialist knowledge and better incentives to deliver engaged, sustainable mobile solutions for human development. Application developers, practitioners and private sector partners should come together to openly address the gaps highlighted in this research.” 

Contact Information

United Nations Development Programme:
Minerva Novero-Belec, Policy Specialist
Responsive and Accountable Institutions
Governance and Peacebuilding
UNDP, New York

Sangita Khadka
Communications Specialist, Directorate, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support
UNDP, New York
Phone: +1 212 906 5043

Motorola Solutions:
Elvan Lindberg
Motorola Solutions
Mobile: +46 707448893


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About UNDP
UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in more than 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations. (www.undp.org)

UNDP has been a pioneer in the use of ICTs for enhancing human development. Since 1992, the organization has supported governments and civil society organizations (CSOs) to harness ICTs to deliver better public services, enhance the participation and involvement of citizens through networking in the various governance-related processes and issues and foster transparency and accountability. By the end of 2012, UNDP was supporting close to 230 ICT for development and e-governance projects in 94 developing countries, spending close to 220 million USD. (www.undpegov.org)

About Motorola Solutions Foundation
The Motorola Solutions Foundation is the charitable and philanthropic arm of Motorola Solutions. With employees located around the globe, Motorola Solutions seeks to benefit the communities where it operates. The company achieves this by making strategic grants, forging strong community partnerships and fostering innovation.

Motorola Solutions
Motorola Solutions (NYSE: MSI) creates innovative, mission-critical communication solutions and services that help public safety and commercial customers build safer cities and thriving communities. For ongoing news, visit www.motorolasolutions.com/newsroom.