#MobileForGood: 3 Ways that Mobile Technology Positively Impacts Community Development
We are in a transformational time in terms of mobile technology – mobile phones have been one of the most rapidly adopted technologies in our collective history. According to a 2019 investigation by the United Nations, the penetration of mobile line subscriptions reached 98.7% of the population in developing countries. They are also becoming increasingly accessible around the world. Advances and innovations mean it is a vital piece in the puzzle of keeping us connected and informed about the world around us, especially during challenging times. Our mobiles have grown so far beyond purely being a communication device – now we can monitor our health, manage our finances, and engage with causes we care about. Within this blog we will look at some of the ways that mobile technology is positively influencing community development – producing a diverse range of economic and social benefits.
- Mobile technology provides accessibility
Mobile technology provides access to resources, news, information, knowledge, and commerce on an increasingly global scale. With a smartphone app and network connectivity a person can engage in a full range of activities beyond primary communications. This can include engaging with government services, paying bills, making purchases, navigation, learning through access to educational materials. These functions can be available through a smartphone, overcoming more traditional geographic, social, and economic barriers than ever before. The ever-lowering cost of the smartphone also makes this accessible if you know how to use the technology to reach them.
- Mobile tech creates new channels of engaging with causes and commerce
Mobile access to social networking and multi-channel platforms has profoundly changed the way that individuals interact with businesses, causes, products and services and has driven the global development of new types of economies. Mobile tech innovations such as geofencing and QR code readers can help alert users of nearby goods and services and lower traditional barriers to engagement. It has also given rise and visibility to micro transactional business, which has helped lift people out of poverty and encourages social innovation. It also has the potential to propel the sharing economy so that communities can make the most of resources available to them in a way that is socially and environmentally friendly. It also offers people new ways to pay for goods and services, including new and alternative currencies such as Bitcoin.
- Mobile technology connects and empowers communities
Mobile communications have created a drastic impact on the social life of millions of people around the world and have fundamentally altered the way we stay in touch with one another. This has become even more apparent during the coronavirus pandemic, where we rely heavily on this technology to stay connected regardless of physical separation. It has never been easier to communicate from even the most remote parts of the world. Smartphones are now paving the way for a new wave integrated technologies that benefit people with additional support needs, the elderly and education of young people. The mobile phone has impacted socio-cultural norms and individual behaviour, bringing communities together regardless of geographical location.
However, it’s important to remember that while reducing traditional barriers, mobile tech can sometimes create new ones. Smartphones can be cost prohibitive for some individuals, and they may have never had the opportunity to engage or learn about this technology before.
For those otherwise not familiar with how to use mobile technology, this new world can seem overwhelming and frustrating. With the fast-paced nature of constant updates and changing models, even those who have some level of understanding may feel overwhelmed by advancing technology.
Reaching these individuals can present a challenge for organisations, however it’s important to understand how you can connect with them and offer them new opportunities to engage. Digital Charity Lab has many resources to help you digitally upskill staff and volunteers within your own organisation, as well as reach out to those in your community who may need support with developing their digital skills.
We believe that everyone should have the learning and support they need to access this kind of technology. At GoodCall, we can support your charity with all you need to help you connect with your beneficiaries and supporters. We provide bespoke advice to help you make the most of your mobiles. Get in touch with us now via our contact form or call Elaine on 07535 396 882.