This week will mark the launch of our new eight-week online certificate course on Mobile Money in partnership with the Mobile Solutions team at USAID and The QED Group. Today, we open our doors to over 70 staff from USAID and implementing partners in 10 countries to connect them with leading experts in the mobile money space and share best practices. Building on the materials in our TC105 Mobiles for International Development course, we will focus more specifically on how to implement and operationalize mobile money programs designed for scale.
USAID is the first bilateral donor to establish a dedicated Mobile Solutions team to help lever the power and reach of mobile technology to accelerate development outcomes. It is also an emerging leader in mobile money. Already, USAID’s work in Haiti led to more than 5 million mobile money transactions and a doubling of financial access points. In Afghanistan, USAID worked with the Central Bank to reduce regulatory barriers to entry for mobile network operators to establish mobile money products. And it is working to transfer large payment flows from cash to mobile money–this summer, for example, 110,000 households will have the chance to pay their electricity bills via mobile money. This online course will help inform this work and future programs, as USAID intends to expand its mobile money work to countries like Indonesia, Philippines, Malawi and a host of others.
Participants will explore at issues of regulation and interoperability, as well as strategies for working effectively with MNOs, banks and governments. We’ll consider case studies from countries like Pakistan, Philippines, Haiti, Uganda, Kenya and hear from guest experts such as David Porteous of Bankable Frontiers, Kabir Kumar of CGAP, Nadeem Hussain of Tameer Bank, Tomasz Smilowicz of Citigroup, Jordan Weinstock of Open Revolution, Chrissy Martin of MEDA, and more. Self-paced content including animated and interactive overview videos will complement live discussions.
According to Priya Jaisingani, Director of the Mobile Solutions team at USAID, this type of online facilitated course “will go a long way to ensure USAID’s mobile money work is informed by the best thinking in the field.”
TechChange president Nick Martin said of the partnership: “We often find that the biggest barrier to using mobile phones for international development is bridging the rift between development projects and technologists. We’re hoping this class can do exactly that through sharing best practices and connecting with leading experts.”
If you’re interested in mobile money and other possibilities for mobile phones for your projects, TechChange will also be offering an open-enrollment course TC105: Mobiles for International Development on September 24th.
Image link from USAID IDEA: http://idea.usaid.gov/tags/haiti