Frugal Innovations in Technological and Institutional Infrastructure: Impact of Mobile Phone Technology on Productivity, Public Service Provision and Inclusiveness

Monica A. Altamirano, C.P. van Beers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
37 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This paper examines frugal innovations as processes, products and systems that affect the resource constraints that are typical for many developing countries. The focus is on the impacts of mobile phone technology-induced frugal innovations’ on the resource constraints and how these influence productivity, public services provision and inclusiveness. The effects are illustrated with the help of the case of the M-Pesa payment system and more specifically two particular services that use M-Pesa, i.e. Kilimo-Salama, an agricultural microinsurance through mobile phones and M-Farm, market access services for small farmers. The results reveal positive impacts on private sector productivity and public services provisions due to, among others, reduction of transaction length and hence costs. With regard to inclusiveness it is likely that in the short term the application of IT-induced frugal innovations will not be inclusive. In the longer term the inclusiveness of these innovations can be expected to increase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalEuropean Journal of Development Research
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • inclusiveness
  • Information Technology
  • M-Pesa
  • productivity
  • public service provision
  • resource constraints

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