Name Women’s Economic Activity and Mobile Money
Source UN Women
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Description To use mobile money transfers to estimate the spatial and temporal relationships between remittances, social network structure, and women’s economic well-being.
Long description The objective of this project is to use mobile money datasets to create a spatially and temporally disaggregated portrait of women’s economic welfare as it relates to remittances and social networks. The key variables include the level of funds in the mobile account, the daily flow in and out of the account, and how money moves through social networks geographically and over time.36-38 This data can also be compared with physical migration cycles to look at how flows of labor, in addition to flows of capital, impact development in both rural and urban areas.39 Anomalous changes in the variables listed above could also help to understand the effects of economic and environmental shocks on women’s poverty. Cell phone records generally can be used to construct social networks40,41, and modularity analysis, a technique to map clustering of cell phone users in the money-sharing network, can assist in analyzing how this web of connections influences women’s access to capital.42,43 Past studies have shown the importance of network structure – number of contacts, path lengths from one person to another, centrality of any given person, and so on – on economic development.44 The mobile money data can also be used for the opposite goal: correlating where money does not go with demographic and spatial variables of communities to understand the reasons for bottlenecks in capital flow within an economy.
Lead Institution UN Women
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Partners Vodafone (all countries), Safaricom (Kenya), Vodacom (Tanzania), Nedbank (South Africa), HDFC (Indian), ICICI (India), MTN (Uganda), C-GAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), Santa Fe Institute, Jenny Aker, Tufts University, Isaac Mbiti, SMU
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Type Knowledge
Potential for reuse Low
Open source No
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Plug & Play No
Outputs compatible with indicators from Official Statistics No
Status Concept
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Target Groups
Sectors where the innovation can be applied
  • Financial Sector
  • ,
  • Gender
  • Areas of technological innovation
  • Mobile Data Collection
  • Areas of management practice innovations
    Use of Alternative Data Sources
    Areas of institutional process innovations
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    Case Study Description
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    Created On 2014-04-12
    Updated On 2014-04-12
    Status Published