[iDC] Posting on IDC

Jenny Aker jennaker at hotmail.com
Tue Aug 24 14:00:23 UTC 2010

Greetings all,


My name is Jenny Aker, and I am an economics professor at Tufts University.
Prior to working for a university, I worked for an international
non-governmental organization in West and Central Africa.  When I first
arrived in West Africa in 1997, landlines were scarce and mobile phones had
barely penetrated West Africa.  More than ten years later, mobile phone
coverage has expanded tremendously, and some of the poorest households in
Africa are using mobile phones.


My research looks at the impact of information technology (primarily mobile
phones) on a variety of development outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa,
including adult literacy, access to market information and agricultural and
civic education campaigns.  The main questions we attempt to address are the
following:  How
using-mobile-phones-for-cash-transfers.php>  can mobile phone coverage and
mobile devices reduce communication costs, improve households' access to
information and financial services and promote market efficiency, learning
and development in developing countries? 


While mobile phones offer tremendous opportunities in development, and can
overcome weaknesses in landlines, power and roads, they
ile-phones-for-development%E2%80%94hope-vs-hype/>  are not necessarily the
"silver bullet" for development.  And such opportunities in some cases
coincide with risks.  How do we know when mobile technology is "better"
(more efficient and effective) than traditional, low-tech approaches?  And
when mobile phone technology is used, how can we ensure that it reaches a
broader spectrum of the population?





Jenny C. Aker

Assistant Professor of Economics, Tufts University

Economics Department and Fletcher School

Tufts University


Tel(C): +1 510 219-1663

Tel(Niger):  00 227 96087593

Tel (Netherlands): 00 310638029012

Email:  jennaker at hotmail.com or Jenny.Aker at tufts.edu

Web page:  http://sites.tufts.edu/jennyaker/


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