How IOT Works in Emerging and DeVeloping Countries
How can we encourage IoT innovations in development contexts that further development goals? Drawing from the analysis of case studies above, recent studies and articles we have identified three impact mechanisms by which IoT is particularly suited to improving living conditions in emerging and developing countries. We suggest these as guiding principles when considering future IoT projects.
Compensation for scarce infrastructure: IoT applications can provide viable ways to overcome deficits in infrastructure. This can serve to improve critical supply chains such as vaccine provision (see case study page 12). Furthermore, in areas vulnerable to natural disasters, a network of IoT sensors can help to give early warning to affected populations, and even provide emergency communication channels (see page 18).
Integration in markets and services: Some population groups in developing countries, e.g. smallholders or seasonal workers and their families in rural areas, remain underserved by certain services such as insurance and healthcare. IoT-enabled technology can present radically new ways to bring these services to underprivileged markets by increasing reach while simultaneously reducing operating costs (see case study page 15).
Increasing productivity: Low productivity due to lack of resources and knowledge holds back economic development. IoT projects can prove beneficial here, above all in the area of precision agriculture, leading to higher yields for smallholder farmers (see page 14). This could contribute significantly to both economic development and food security.
About the Authors
Franziska Kreische graduated with an MA in Peace and Conflict Studies and gained experience in German development cooperation while working as a student assistant at the KfW Development Bank. After her studies she lived in Uganda where she worked for various development projects.
Angela Ullrich holds a PhD in Economics and has worked in academia and as a financial analyst. Today, Angela works as a lecturer on non-profit sector economics and as a part-time researcher in the betterplace lab.
Kathleen Ziemann graduated with an MA in Politics and Cultural Sciences, and more recently trained as a Design Thinker at the Hasso Plattner Institute. After her studies she worked as an editor at Médecins Sans Frontières before joining the betterplace lab as trendresearcher.