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The SEEP Network 
Annual Conference

October 1-3, 2018

Information and Communication Technology

This track is sponsored by MasterCard International Incorporated.  
 The number of mobile subscribers in Africa grew from 25 million in 2001 to nearly 650 million in 2011, and it is expected to reach 925 million by 2015. An estimated 1.7 billion of the world’s poor possess a mobile phone. Mobile communications and the rapid advances in digital payment systems are creating opportunities to connect poor households to affordable financial tools as well as to dramatically increase their access to information vital to health, agriculture, and enterprise development.  The potential of information and communication technology to help move the poor from cash-based financial transactions into electronic form is enormous. Electronic payment technologies (such as mobile phones, smart cards, ATMs, etc.) offer a more effective, efficient, transparent, and often safer means of transacting. Innovations of this nature have the potential to create economy-wide efficiencies that can directly address the barriers to market inclusion for the poor.

 ICT as Development Enabler: New Tools and Learning from Africa
Curious how to effectively use ICT to enable more inclusive, scalable, and sustainable agricultural development? This workshop draws on learning from work conducted by FHI360, ACDI/VOCA, Action for Enterprise, and Grameen AppLab. The workshop will profile four recent initiatives in Africa: development of a low-cost video toolkit for agriculture extension, a case study of ICT-enabled, private-sector led outgrowing and input supply models, mobile apps for M&E, and an innovative ICT-enabled agriculture extension social enterprise - the Community Knowledge Worker Initiative.  The workshop will include opportunities to interface with technologies.  

Power point available here.

Contextualizing Innovation: Technology-Enabled Microfinance in Zambia, Haiti,  and Nicaragua
There are many opportunities for MFIs to see efficiency gains from new technology-enabled delivered channels.  At the same time, the electronic payments landscape varies widely between countries and many are yet to have a viable agent network and widespread customer awareness. Yet, worldwide, MFIs are eager to reap the benefits of payment innovations, even in less developed markets.  This workshop presents case studies from Zambia, Haiti, and Nicaragua, with a focus on the tools they have used to assess partners, costs, opportunities and risks, with representatives from three of MEDA's partners: Zoona, Fonkoze, and MiCrédito, respectively.   The workshop will encourage the audience to share their own experiences, and will forgo presentations to ensure a full discussion.

 Unpacking Mobile Financial Services: Partnerships, Products, and Agent Networks
Developing the right strategy to enhance the reach of mobile financial services in poor and rural areas and expand the range of financial services that can be accessed over these platforms is challenging. This workshop aims to unpack key components of a successful strategy to build or link into mobile financial services, including partnerships, products, and agent networks. Using a case study and guided by experts in the field, the workshop leaves participants with a nuanced understanding of what it may take to successfully deploy and use a mobile financial services offering.

Power point available here.

 Mobile Insurance Technology: A Microinsurance Game-Changer for Developing Markets
Mobile insurance (m-insurance) technology is transforming microinsurance delivery in developing markets. MicroEnsure has reached 4 million clients and grown by 20 times its initial size in 2 years through collaborating with mobile network operators (MNOs), insurers and facilitation partners across 5 developing countries. In spite of the company’s rapid outreach, effective m-insurance delivery is a challenging pursuit which requires flexible solutions, clear incentives to all involved parties, and a holistic understanding of the microinsurance market and evolving mobile technologies. This workshop highlights the key players and innovations in thought and technology necessary to offer m-insurance on a massive scale.

Power point available here. Survey results

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