What We Do:

Mobile Health for Development

Mobile Health for Development


When health officials need to track the success rate of health campaigns, they turn to a mobile health tool that enables data to be quickly and accurately collected even in the most remote areas.

Bringing mHealth to Scale

At the GSM World Mobile Conference in February 2009, the Rockefeller Foundation, United Nations Foundation, and Vodafone Foundation announced an agreement to form the mHealth Alliance to facilitate global innovation and ensure maximum impact in the field of mobile health (mHealth).

The idea for the mHealth Alliance ewas born in a July 2008 conference on the future of mHealth, held as part of the Making the eHealth Connection: Global Partners, Local Solutions event at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center. The Alliance will act as an umbrella organization to complement, draw together and expand upon the mHealth initiatives of multiple organizations around the world.  It will cultivate cross-sector, public and private collaboration in support of innovation and projects that address global health needs.

Field Activities

Since 2006, by working with the World Health Organization (WHO), the nonprofit, and country Ministries of Health, the UN Foundation-Vodafone Foundation Technology Partnership has supported the development of a sustainable and scalable technology solution to quickly collect vital health data. This data is equipping decision makers with the right tools to make smart decisions about critical public health issues, making it easier to combat deadly diseases and save lives.

The Mobile Health (mHealth) for Development program is decreasing the cost of health data collection by supporting the development of the free and open source EpiSurveyor software for mobile devices. It is increasing the capacity of developing-country health workers by training more than 1,000 health workers in 20 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Plans for expansion in other regions are now underway.


Read the report: mHealth for Development
The Opportunity of Mobile Technology for Healthcare in the Developing World



The UN Foundation and Vodafone Foundation’s mHealth for Development program, and the projects it supports, are the 2008 recipients of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) Information Technology Award, the Mobile Industry Review Award for Best Public Use of Mobile, and the PRNews Award for Nonprofit PR.

For its innovative mHealth work with the UN Foundation & Vodafone Foundation Technology Partnership, and with partners at WHO and in participating health ministries, has received a number of prestigious honors.

In 2009, this included the Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Award, the Lemelson-MIT Sustainability Award, Forbes magazine’s ‘Seven Most Powerful Innovators’ list,’s ‘Seven Award-Winning Innovations’ list, and Fast Company magazine’s ‘Top 10 Social Enterprises of the Year’ list. In 2008, DataDyne received the 2008 Stockholm Challenge Award and was named Tech Museum Award Laureate.

Read about our mHealth program in the report Wireless Technology for Social Change.



  • Mobilizing Development

    Mobilizing Development, the final report in the UN Foundation and Vodafone Foundation Technology Partnership's Access to Communications publication series, examines the partnership that bridged the United Nations, the world's largest humanitarian system, with Vodafone, one of the largest global mobile operators. The report explores how this collaboration has mobilized innovative partnerships in the use of technology for development, celebrates successes, and identifies trends and lessons learned.

  • Disaster Relief 2.0: The Future of Information Sharing in Humanitarian Emergencies

    Disaster Relief 2.0: The Future of Information Sharing in Humanitarian Emergencies analyzes how the humanitarian community and the emerging volunteer and technical communities worked together in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and recommends a four-part framework to improve coordination between these two groups in future emergencies.