Barcelona, Spain – Today, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) received the Best Government Policy for Mobile Development award at GSMA's Mobile World Congress 2013. The Agency's work to increase the use of mobile services to empower women was recognized by the mobile industry’s largest trade association at its annual event, which attracts over 70,000 people.
Priya Jaisinghani, Director of Mobile Services in the Office of Innovation and Development Alliances, accepted the award on USAID's behalf. USAID is the first bilateral donor agency to establish a dedicated mobile solutions team focused on the widespread use of mobile technology to address core economic and gender issues.
To include those who do not have access to or use banks, USAID has implemented a series of mobile money initiatives and partnerships, including the Better Than Cash Alliance and a focus on electronic payments as part of its reform agenda, USAID Forward. To close the mobile phone gender gap, USAID has strengthened its support to the GSMA mWomen Program to provide access to mobile services that enhance the livelihoods of women and their families. Further, USAID is working to provide timely health messages to expectant and new mothers through the Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA).
Dr. Maura O'Neill, USAID Chief Innovation Officer, said, "We are very careful within the development community to not talk about silver bullets for meeting our development objectives. But the mobile phone is pretty darn close. It is the game changer in development. We are very excited about this award and the momentum it provides USAID and others who care deeply about giving every person in the world an opportunity to create a free and prosperous life."
Last updated: February 26, 2013