Media Coverage
January 03, 2017
M-Pesa, the world’s largest mobile money network, could be the key to poverty eradication in the developing world based on its success in Kenya where almost 200,000 households headed by women are living above the poverty line as a result of the innovation.
Media Coverage
December 13, 2016
Demonetisation and the subsequent push for the cashless economy have triggered a debate that was long overdue in the country. Leaving aside the political colours of the arguments, even those by some renowned economists, what is heartening is the fact that India is debating the impact of demonetisation and mobile-based transactions on the poor.
Media Coverage
December 10, 2016
Almost 200,000 Kenyan households, many headed by poor, rural women, have lifted themselves out of poverty using mobile money services, experts said on Thursday, calling for the technology to be introduced in other developing countries. The impact was most dramatic among single mothers who used M-Pesa, a text message-based mobile payment system, after switching from farming to business and retail sales, the journal Science found.
Media Coverage
December 10, 2016
In a study published Friday in the journal Science, economists at MIT and Georgetown have found that a service allowing users to send and receive money on their mobile phones has significantly reduced poverty in Kenya.
Media Coverage
December 10, 2016
Drive a few miles from the centre of Accra, the capital of Ghana, into the neat rows of houses that surround it and the paved roads disappear almost as quickly as the phone lines. Yet this has not dented the ambitions of Kwami Williams, a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who is building a business processing moringa trees and exporting the resulting tea and cosmetic oils.
Media Coverage
December 09, 2016
There are many ways that gender inequality holds us back. But overall, the math is simple: Half the world’s population is financially stunted. As long as we keep suppressing the economic potential of women, we will never achieve the growth and prosperity we want.
Media Coverage
December 09, 2016
Mobile money, a service that allows monetary value to be stored on a mobile phone and sent to other users via text messages, has been adopted by the vast majority of Kenyan households. We estimate that access to the Kenyan mobile money system M-PESA increased per capita consumption levels and lifted 194,000 households, or 2% of Kenyan households, out of poverty.
Media Coverage
December 09, 2016
M-PESA was launched nine years ago. Today almost every single household in Kenya uses it. Most Kenyans didn't have access to traditional banks before. Which already makes mobile banking a game-changer. Now scientists say there could be an extra benefit for poor customers: Mobile banking might lift people out of poverty. That's the subject of a study out this week in the journal Science about M-PESA.
Media Coverage
December 08, 2016
A new study today shows that the expansion of mobile money helped bring hundreds of thousands of Kenyans out poverty, especially those in female-headed households. The study, published in Science, examined how M-PESA, Kenya's text message-based payments system, spread across the country over six years.
Press Release
December 08, 2016
The new study found that poor rural women in Kenya with access to a mobile phone-based service allowing them to send and receive payments at low cost shifted their occupations from agriculture to business and saved more. The combined effects reduced poverty for hundreds of thousands of households.   
Media Coverage
December 08, 2016
Popular Science covers the study in Science on poverty and access to M-PESA mobile money in Kenya.
Media Coverage
December 08, 2016
Reuters looks at the new findings in Science on mobile money and poverty in Kenya.
Media Coverage
December 08, 2016
IPA Researcher and board member Tavneet Suri of MIT speaks with Vox about her new findings, published in Science. The research, conducted with with Billy Jack and IPA, looked at the how poverty was reduced in Kenya as M-PESA expanded and made mobile money more widely available in the country. Read more at the link below.
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November 14, 2016

by Jennifer Sturdy and Stephanie Wykstra

Editor's note: This appeared originally in the American Psychological Society's magazine APS Observer.

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Matthew Jukes
October 27, 2016

The Health and Literacy Intervention (HALI) project replaced expensive in-person coaching with text messages and found that they effectively supported teachers in improving their pedagogy, helped children learn to read, and reduced dropout by 50 percent (full study summary here, paper...

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