Services & Practices > Digital Innovation

Kalba International provides a wide range of expertise with respect to digital innovation, including technical inputs, assessments of adoption barriers, policy and legal aspects, diffusion forecasts, and strategies for fostering innovation at the national and regional levels (e.g. innovation hubs).  Some individual cases follow.

e-Government Planning & Activation

Working with the CIO of an Asian government we assessed the readiness of different ministries in introducing digital approaches to G2G, G2C and G2B functions.  On this basis we formulated a draft strategy for the government to pursue in infusing digital approaches on a top-down basis that at the same time recognizes the ability of different departments and units to absorb new technology and processes.

Mobile Money Adoption-Usage Gap

The aim of this project was to determine why so many individuals registered for mobile money services in Sub Saharan Africa countries and then rarely used then (the contrasting example of m-pesa in Kenya and Eco-cash in Zimbabwe notwithstanding).  Working with two multi-country operators and using survey research, data analytics, Mystery Shopping and focus groups, we were able to pinpoint the structural (income availability and cycles), access, fee-level, agent-centered and other impediments involved.

The eight focus groups we carried out with the help of a local research entity helped us examine the value of alternative product and marketing changes aimed at fostering more regular mobile money use.

Strategy for a Digital Economy

Working for the World Bank and the Ministry of Digital Economy of Senegal, we formulated a national strategy framework for actively positioning the country towards the emerging digital economy.  Unusually Senegal already has more than 10% of its GDP in the digital sector (primarily due to a single company) and is seeking to amplify and diversify its digital profile.  With the help of detailed analyses of its e-readiness across private and public sectors, and consultations with stakeholders, we prepared a multi-phase strategy and action plan, which is being implemented.

e-Commerce, Privacy and Data Protection

For governments in Africa and the Americas we reviewed their legislation, enacted or in preparation, dealing with e-Commerce, data protection and privacy.  The objective in one case was to determine the readiness of the country to support digital economic development.  In the other case we served as legal consultants, suggesting additions or changes in the draft legislation.

Technology-University Clusters

We have worked on several projects where we have examined technology incubators, distance learning at the higher education level, and university-technology clustering.  These have involved National Educational Research Networks (Comoros, Mauritius), technology parks (Morocco, Thailand), distance learning projects (Burkina Faso, USA), mobile apps incubators (Armenia, Senegal), software development projects (Cambodia, India), telemedicine links (Senegal, Tanzania), and R&D labs (Ukraine, USA).

Digital Literacy in Multi-Lingual Context

One of the most challenging cases we have dealt with is the design of a digital literacy campaign for a country emerging from civil conflict (resulting in a shutdown of schools for several years) where the language environment consists of two official languages, two semi-official ones (including English) and many local languages, which are typically the first language learned by individuals growing up. 

In approaching this task we needed to be aware of the limited availability of non-English websites and social media while acknowledging that expecting individuals to use their third, fourth or fifth language (e.g. English) on the Internet is not realistic either.  

Mobile and Broadband Adoption Research

Dr. Kas Kalba has prepared a number of studies of the factors that speed up and delay the adoption of ICT products and services, including mobile phones and broadband (both fixed and mobile), across both developed and developing countries.  This research has been published by Harvard University (The Global Adoption and Diffusion of Mobile Phones, 2008), The International Journal of Communication (“The Adoption of Mobile Phone in Emerging Markets,” 2008), and Communications & Strategy (“Broadband Leadership in Emerging Markets,” IDATE, No. 91, 2013).