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The GSMA has launched the Mobile and Development Intelligence (MDI) project in conjunction with Omidyar Network. Omidyar is the philanthropic investment firm established by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.



MDI will offer data and analysis to support business decision-making and clarify the evidence of the socio-economic impact of the mobile industry in the developing world. According to GSMA, MDI will provide any user with over 70 metrics and the ability to tabulate, graph, map and export the data sets with country-level dashboards available for more than 140 developing world countries.


It will  add new data sets throughout the project and users can add data and content to the portal. “An open access to high-quality data will improve business decision-making, increase total investment from both the commercial mobile industry and the development sector, and amplify economic, environmental and social impact,” says Chris Locke, managing director, GSMA Development Fund.


“We are positioned to aggregate and host data and analysis on behalf of our mobile operator members and the wider industry.This open data portal will provide a complete landscape of the organisations and mobile services that are influencing and changing lives in developing populations.”


“Using the power and ubiquity of the mobile platform to empower individuals with information and opportunities to improve their lives is core to Omidyar Network’s mission. We believe the mobile industry in emerging markets needs a credible source of data to enable collaboration across various sectors and drive incremental investments,” says Raj Gollamudi, director of investments, Omidyar Network. “In addition to becoming the industry’s de-facto data platform, we envision MDI becoming a vibrant community hub for all players in the ecosystem.”


Rich Data Landscape

A challenge facing mobile industry stakeholders in the developing world is the lack of publicly available data and analysis to support their business decision making. MDI will fill this information gap and will aggregate and host data from multiple sources such as the GSMA, the United Nations, the World Bank, the wider mobile industry and development organisations.


There are an estimated 6.6 billion mobile connections globally, with the developing world providing the majority of global connections growth. The industry is moving beyond basic voice to the use of mobile to deliver services in adjacent sectors such as agriculture, education, financial services and health.


Mobile is uniquely positioned to drive economic, environmental and social benefit. By helping to increase the level of investment and the number of products and services offered that prove to be fundamentally valuable to developing populations, MDI will have an impact on the livelihoods of millions of people in the developing world.



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