The GSMA Development Fund will project manage the Refugee Connectivity Pilot and provide in-country project management in the form of a fulltime in-country resource who will be responsible for driving the project and managing the partner and stakeholder relationships. The GSMA Development Fund will work in partnership with leading players from the mobile phone industry and the UN Agency for Refugees (UNHCR). UNHCR will provide support, security and access to refugee settlements in northern Uganda. The UNHCR will also facilitate the relationships and introductions to specific implementation partners required to deliver a sustainable and scalable pilot in Uganda. MTN, one of Africa's leading mobile phone Operators, with operations in 21 countries, has committed to supporting the pilot with the expansion of the GSM network in order to provide coverage for 'Shared Access to Voice' and 'Shared Access to Data' services.
Ericsson has committed to support the pilot by extending and upgrading the existing network to enable efficient voice and data capabilities.
Measures of Success:
Specific metrics in terms of numbers of jobs and revenue created will be finalized during Phase 1 of the pilot.
The success of the pilot will be measured by the following;
- Average number of users for each shared handset
- Revenue generated for individual entrepreneurs
- Demand for ICT services through Shared Access to Data
- Access to educational materials through Shared Access to Data
- Take up of wireless communications to improve information flow on issues of health, agriculture, business and other relevant information to the population
November 1,2007: Pilot launch.
November 1 - December 31, 2007: Feasibility and assessment period. Research and design a sustainable model to introduce sustainable and scalable 'Shared Access to Voice' and 'Shared Access to Data' services via GSM to refugee settlements.
January 2008 - June 2008: upon the creation of a sustainable model, phase two will include the introduction of 100 'Shared Access to Voice' PayPhones and 10 Community Information Centres in a refugee settlement in northern Uganda. During this six-month period the SATV and SATD services will be evaluated.
July 2008 - August 2008: Replication of the model to allow for the expansion into other refugee locations and settlements and expand on a range of GSM products and services to include for example, Mobile-Banking.
The GSMA Development Fund was founded in October 2005 and aims to connect the unconnected and help improve the social, economic, and environmental well-being of the world's neediest people by supporting and encouraging the development of sustainable mobile solutions.
The GSMA Development Fund is improving people's lives by harnessing the unique benefits of mobile phone technology for social and economic good. The GSMA Development Fund delivers focused, practical support in the fields of Health, Economic Development, Affordable Access, Education and Skills Development, Safety and Security and Environment.
The GSMA Refugee Connectivity commitment will start with a contained pilot in Uganda bringing voice and data services to refugees in northern Uganda. Once the pilot has proven a sustainable concept, the commitment will be expanded and take the solution into new refugee territories with enhanced product and service offerings with a particular emphasis on economic development, education, and health.
Further partners from the telecom sector and areas such as education, health, banking, and the environment will be introduced to this commitment as it expands beyond the pilot. This pilot will also join the commitment made by the UNHCR, ninemillion.org, a commitment to educate nine million refugee children by 2010.
Specifically the pilot project aims to:
-Connect refugee settlements in northern Uganda to affordable voice and data services via GSM through the extension of the existing network into previously unconnected areas
- Develop a model, which would create economic sustainability, thereby enabling the model to scale rapidly and into new territories
-Provide access to ICT products and services needed by refugee settlements, for both refugees and humanitarian agencies working in the area
-Explore how the provision of quality education, and health management systems could benefit from the introduction of wireless GSM access.
-Connect refugees to their families and community
- Stimulate entrepreneurial activity
- Raise awareness of the significant role mobile communications plays in poverty alleviation
The GSMA Development Fund is seeking partners to assist with the development of a sustainable and scalable solution within refugee locations. Required assistance includes the partnership of refugee implementation partners such as CARE and Save the Children.
Community Information Centre assistance in the form of in-kind support from hardware and software companies. Other ideal partners included are microfinance institutions to support the business case for entrepreneurial activity.
Funding partners will allow for further replication in other countries and refugee territories