The paper describes a collection of initiatives delivering support via mobile phones to small enterprises, small farms, and the self-employed. Using a review of 26 examples of such services currently operational in Africa, the analysis identifies five functions of mobile livelihood services: Mediated Agricultural Extension, Market Information, Virtual Marketplaces, Financial Services, and Direct Livelihood Support. It discusses the current reliance of such systems on the SMS channel, and considers their role in supporting vs. transforming existing market structures.
It was published in Communication technologies in Latin America and Africa: A multidisciplinary perspective (pp. 37-58), edited by Mireia Fernández-Ardèvol and Adela Ros.
Download chapter (all other papers are also online)
There is a also a youtube video of Donner’s paper presentation at the original conference in Barceona.