Project Year



Central Asia



Project Description

Afghanistan highlights the potential and challenges of mobile money services: a rapidly growing mobile phone penetration; limited access to fixed banking infrastructure; in a flux of change; high levels of textual, numerical and technical illiteracy; variable access to mains electricity. What impact will the introduction of mobile money services, and in particular M-Paisa, have on consumers in Afghanistan? How do mobile money services work alongside existing money practices? And are there lessons that can be drawn for the design of mobile money services around the world? Drawing on insights from users, agents and other eco-system stakeholders, this project will document the impact of the introduction of mobile money services in Afghanistan, through interviews and photo-documentation in three distinct locations.


Jan Chipchase, Panthea Lee

About the Researcher(s)

Jan Chipchase graduated with a Masters in User Interface Design from London Guildhall University. He is Executive Creative Director of Global Insights of Frog Design, one of the world's leading strategic-creative consulting firms. He writes about design and innovation at

researcherPanthea Lee works on technology for development initiatives in various sectors. Currently at the Innovation Unit UNICEF, she focuses on leveraging communications and information technology to improve UNICEF programming and service delivery. She graduated from McGill University in Montreal, and has research experience in China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Jordan and Suriname.

Synopsis of Research Results

Link to Jan Chipchase and Panthea Lee's "Mobile Money Afghanistan"

Link to Jan Chipchase, Mark Rolston, Cara Silver and Josh Blumensock's white paper: In the Hands of God: A Study of Risks and Savings in Afghanistan.


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