LIRNEasia is a regional ICT policy and regulation think tank active across the Asia Pacific

The importance of scale

One of the first things Ashok Jhunjhunwala said when we started working together was that in India scale was everything. He should know, having spun off a number of companies and suffered some failures as well.

I find it difficult to get excited about stories like this, because these initiatives addressing 16,000 women in the country of 1.2 billion people are unlikely to scale. Of course, one hopes they will succeed. And one hopes that a good evaluation will be done. In our systematic review work we could not find robust evidence of impact from these kinds of interventions.

Funded by Qualcomm Wireless Reach and developed by IntraHealth International, mSaki is currently being used by 329 ASHAs to benefit 16,000 mothers. A mobile broadband initiative accomplishing such a task in rural India is no small feat.

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