Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Publications

 

Cover of Working Paper 478
March 16, 2018

Short-Term Impacts of Improved Access to Mobile Savings, with and without Business Training: Experimental Evidence from Tanzania - Working Paper 478

This paper presents short-term results from an experiment randomizing the promotion and registration of a mobile savings account among women microentrepreneurs in Tanzania, with and without business training. Six months post-intervention, the results show that women save substantially more through the mobile account, and that the business training bolstered this effect. 

Gautam Bastian , Iacopo Bianchi , Markus Goldstein and Joao Montalvao
Cover of Policy Paper 120
February 20, 2018

What Can We Learn about Energy Access and Demand from Mobile-Phone Surveys? Nine Findings from Twelve African Countries

We conducted phone-based surveys on energy access and demand in twelve African countries. From these findings, we draw several potential policy implications. First, both grid electricity and off-grid solutions currently are inadequate to meet many African consumers’ modern energy demands. Second, grid and off-grid electricity are viewed by consumers as complementary, rather than competing, solutions to meet energy demand. Third, a market exists for off-grid solutions even among connected, urban Africans.

Practical Considerations with Using Mobile Phone Survey Incentives: Experiences in Ghana and Tanzania
July 25, 2016

Practical Considerations with Using Mobile Phone Survey Incentives: Experiences in Ghana and Tanzania - Working Paper 431

As mobile phone surveys are gaining popularity among researchers and practitioners in international development, one primary challenge is improving survey response and completion rates. A common solution is to provide monetary compensation to respondents. This paper reports on our experience with using incentives with a mobile phone survey conducted in Ghana and Tanzania in June 2015. 

Call Me Educated: Evidence from a Mobile Monitoring Experiment in Niger - Working Paper 406
May 21, 2015

Call Me Educated: Evidence from a Mobile Monitoring Experiment in Niger - Working Paper 406

In rural areas of developing countries, education programs are often implemented through community teachers. While teachers are a crucial part of the education production function, observing their effort remains a challenge for the public sector. This paper tests whether a simple monitoring system, implemented via the mobile phone, can improve student learning as part of an adult education program. 

Jenny C. Aker and Christopher Ksoll
May 22, 2014

Learning without Teachers? A Randomized Experiment of a Mobile Phone-Based Adult Education Program in Los Angeles - Working Paper 368

Over 755 million adults worldwide are unable to read and write in any language. Yet the widespread introduction of information and communication technology offers new opportunities to provide standardized distance education to underserved illiterate populations in both developed and developing countries.

Christopher Ksoll , Jenny Aker , Danielle Miller , Karla C. Perez-Mendoza and Susan L. Smalley
June 19, 2013

Is Information Power? Using Mobile Phones and Free Newspapers during an Election in Mozambique - Working Paper 328

Jenny Aker and co-authors present the results of a field experiment implemented in Mozambique based on three interventions providing information to voters and calling for their participation in the elections: an SMS civic education campaign centered on the elections, an SMS hotline to which citizens were able to report electoral misconduct, and the distribution of a free newspaper door-to-door focusing on voter education.

Jenny Aker , Paul Collier and Pedro C. Vicente
June 1, 2010

Mobile Phones and Economic Development in Africa - Working Paper 211

Over 60 percent of Africans have access to a cell phone, a simple technology that many believe will fundamentally change the dynamics of agricultural markets, banking, and government service delivery. In a new paper, Jenny Aker and Isaac Mbiti separate the hype from the reality.

Isaac M. Mbiti