Evidence-based ICT Policy for Development and Innovation

The cost of access to information and communication technologies (ITCs) in Africa remains the major impediment to the participation of Africans in the networked society. While Africa is the region with the fastest growing number of mobile phone subscribers in the world, only a few African countries have gained access to such innovations for the poor as mobile money transfers and market information for marginalized farmers. Research ICT Africa (RIA) is a network of African scholars that addresses research gaps in the area of ICT policy and regulation, and has sufficient analytical capacity to inform (evidence-based) policymaking.

This grant will allow RIA to continue adapting and creating new analytical tools; training researchers in analytical skills, writing, publishing and policy advocacy; gathering data for longitudinal studies of ICT access and use; and exploring such issues as mobile money transfers, informal sector use of ICTs, expanding market competition and making affordable services available to the underserved. One of the goals is to develop a fair mobile index modeled on the Big Mac index. The index would allow researchers to compare the cost of ICT services with respect to, for example, the cost of petrol or the minimum wage. The index would be useful in promoting competition and policy advocacy.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

End Date

Sunday, June 8, 2014


36 months

IDRC Officer

Elder, Laurent

Total funding

CA$ 2,922,100


North of Sahara, South of Sahara


Networked Economies

Project Leader

Dal Brodhead


New Economy Development Group, Inc.

Institution Country

South Africa

Institution Website


Project Leader

Alison Gillwald


Research ICT Africa

Institution Country

South Africa

Institution Website