The GSMA has announced that it has signed a £38 million-pound partnership with the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). The ‘Partnership for Inclusion, Innovation and Scale’ will provide funding for the GSMA’s Mobile for Development work on digital inclusion, digital identity, energy, water, sanitation and the reduction of the mobile gender gap. It will also include two new areas of focus: disability and climate.
“This landmark partnership with DFID reinforces the joint power and potential of the private and public sectors working together and ensures that we will continue our crucial role of stimulating digital innovation to deliver both sustainable business and large-scale socioeconomic impact for the underserved,” said Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA. “This project reinforces our commitment to supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and using the power of technology to reduce global inequalities.”
Inclusion, innovation and scale
The partnership will unearth critical insights on the needs of the underserved and identify and invest in mobile-enabled innovations and business models which can drive inclusion at scale. New technologies and business models, such as mobile money and pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar energy, have been crucial to delivering socioeconomic impact to the underserved. DFID, one of the world’s first donors to embrace digital technologies, has been at the forefront of these innovations. The GSMA’s Mobile for Development programme is experienced in bringing digital innovations to scale by engaging the private sector, especially mobile operators and digital innovators.
The new partnership builds on the GSMA’s long-standing relationship with DFID. Since 2013, over 20 million lives across 39 countries have been impacted, of which over 70% have been women. The link-up has already impacted all 17 SDGs, in particular SDG 5 which focuses on Gender Equality, SDG 10 which focuses on Reduced Inequalities and SDG 7 which looks at Affordable and Clean Energy.
Mobile for Development
The GSMA’s Mobile for Development programme was established to drive innovation in digital technology to reduce inequalities in the world. In particular, the programme aims to deliver sustainable business and large-scale socioeconomic impact for the underserved. The programme sits at the intersection of the mobile ecosystem and the development sector and provides unique research and insights, and in-market expertise that unites the mobile industry, tech innovators, governments and the development community.