In low and middle income countries, over 1.7 billion women do not own mobile phones – or, in percentage terms, women are 14 percent less likely to own a mobile phone, compared to men. Furthermore, even if a woman does own a mobile phone, we know that she is far less likely to make full use of its suite of services. Several industry stakeholders have made efforts to understand this gender gap, but the data remains fragmented and lacks standardization. As USAID and implementing partners increasingly utilize mobile technology in their humanitarian and development interventions, this data gap is becoming critical and can inhibit effective program design.
The Gender and ICT Survey Toolkit provides a set of resources for obtaining a landscape assessment of gender and ICT, providing implementing partners currently operating and planning on-the ground programming with practical, well researched tools they can use to obtain data on women’s access and usage of mobile phones and other connected devices. This data can be used to inform project design or create a baseline to understand the efficacy of an ICT intervention. The Toolkit instructs users on how to understand the implications of landscape assessments and apply learnings to their projects and program portfolios. It is important to note that, while this is an ICT toolkit, and references several different forms of ICTs, the primary focus is on mobile.