USAID Expands Partnership to Improve Access to Technology

The Fishing with 3G Nets project in Bahia, Brazil, is one of three successful collaborations to date between USAID and Qualcomm.
The Fishing with 3G Nets project in Bahia, Brazil, is one of three successful collaborations to date between USAID and Qualcomm.

Washington,
May 22, 2013

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and a leading wireless technology provider are expanding their collaboration to use technology to improve economic and social development in emerging markets.

Building on several successful projects in Latin America and Asia, USAID and Qualcomm Inc. signed an agreement that aims to help close the mobile phone gender gap, expand access to broadband, enhance education outcomes, mitigate the negative impacts of climate change, improve information access for front-line health workers, connect small-scale farmers and producers to market data, and enable entrepreneurs to grow their companies by leveraging digital literacy skills.

“USAID is proud to work with Qualcomm. As a global technology leader, they are innovative, nimble and strategic. We share a vision of how to address the challenges in the developing world. Qualcomm has helped us design solutions that make our joint efforts go further,” USAID Deputy Administrator Donald Steinberg said at a ceremony held at USAID.

USAID and Qualcomm have worked together on three successful collaborations:

• Brazil: The Fishing with 3G Nets project has provided small-scale fishermen in Bahia with mobile devices and customized applications to help them practice sustainable fishing, connect with buyers, track sales, access technical assistance, and receive weather and navigation updates.

• El Salvador: USAID and Qualcomm collaborated to develop a wireless mobile and web-based crime system that enables law enforcement in five municipalities to track, report and analyze real-time crime data.

• Philippines: The Wireless Access for Health project established an electronic medical record platform in rural and provincial health clinics that has led to more efficient patient care, having reduced the four to five minutes needed to search paper records to just seconds.

“Given the increasing complexity of the local and global social challenges the world faces, public-private partnerships such as this one with USAID become essential to creating both social and business value,” said Nathan Fletcher, senior director of corporate development at Qualcomm.

This strategic collaboration with Qualcomm builds on USAID’s priority to promote public-private partnerships to help reach underserved communities, USAID said in a May 21 press release.