Project Year



East Africa



Project Description

The primary goal of this research is to investigate the use and impact of mobile money services among the visually impaired population in Kenya, especially as it intersects with poverty. This study will build on an ongoing investigation, supported by IMTFI, on the use of mobile money services among 21 women‘s groups in Eastern Kenya and its correlation to poverty reduction. This study will focus on one of these groups, “The Cheerful Sisters,” around 14 visually impaired women who challenged service providers, educators, and policymakers to consider how services to disadvantaged populations can be strengthened or realized in order to reduce poverty, especially in rural areas. The study will be carried out in four phases. The first phase will seek to profile the users as individuals and as a population facing visual challenges. The second will be to assess, document, and analyze the impact, both positive and negative, of the mobile money services on the visually impaired in Kenya as it relates to poverty. The third will consist of a workshop bringing together key stakeholders in this process: the visually impaired, policymakers, service providers and educators, among others. The final phase will be the documentation and dissemination of the lessons learned. The methodology will be participatory in nature and will include in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, observations and review of secondary data.


Ndunge Kiiti, Jane Mutinda

About the Researcher(s)

Ndunge Kiiti is Associate Professor at Houghton College, in Houghton, NY and Adjunct Faculty at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, Department of Global Health, in Atlanta, GA. To integrate teaching with practice, Kiiti collaborates with MAP International, a nonprofit organization that promotes the total health of people in over 115 countries worldwide. With a key focus on Africa and Latin America, Dr. Kiiti’s work involves research, training, and publishing in the areas of communication, sustainable development and international health policy. She has served on the advisory boards of the Kenya AIDS NGO Consortium, AMREF’s Health Education Network, and the CORE Group in Washington, D.C. Dr. Kiiti has a PhD in Communication from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, which included a one-year study in International Health at the John’s Hopkins School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD.

Jane Wanza Mutinda has a PhD in Environment and Community Development from Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya, the department where she currently serves as the Chairperson. Dr. Mutinda’s portfolio includes research emphasis on Gender and Environment, Community Resource Management, Poverty Alleviation and Microfinance among Women’s Groups in Kenya. In addition to her work in academia, she most recently served as the Project Director for a NEPAD supported program to train women in Eastern Kenya on resource mobilization and investment from 2007-2010. She has served as a consultant for numerous organizations including: UNICEF, Association of African Women for Research and Development (AAWORD), African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF), among others. Dr. Mutinda also obtained a Master’s in Education and Environmental Studies from Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya and a Bachelor’s in Education (Honors) from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. 

Synopsis of Research Results

1. Link to their video: Addressing Poverty Through Mobile Money Technology.

2. Link to their working paper: Mobile Money Services and Poverty Reduction: A Study of Women's Groups in Rural Eastern Kenya.

3. Link to their blog post: Lessons from the Field: M-Shwari and the Jua Kali in Kenya.


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