Home Institution

Fordham University

Publication Date

Spring 2014

Program Name

Uganda: Development Studies


This study was conducted in order to understand the social and economic problems associated with Ugandan women’s usage of mobile phones and the ways in which different mHealth groups are approaching these problems. Seeing how these different groups approach this issue added new information and analysis to a relatively unexplored topic

The qualitative methodology undertaken was two pronged. First, single sex focus groups in rural Mukono District were assembled. Men, women without phones and women and with phones were all talked to in Luganda with the use of a translator. In addition to these focus groups in rural Mukono District, a transit walk was also conducted to see the challenges women had when trying to charge their phone. After data on the challenges women faced was themed, this information was compiled in order to interview three representatives from four organizations (mTrac, U-Report, Text to Change and Health Child).These interviews were conducted in order to see what mHealth groups were doing to address the challenges. This data was then cross-referenced against the findings from the field and literature to see if the approaches were suitable for the matter at hand.

The study showed that the challenges facing women were immense, both socially and financially. Not being able to buy airtime, or being under the threat of GBV because of phone use were realities for the women talked to. From analysis, it was clear that mHealth groups were cognizant ofthese issues and are innovative approaches to incorporate women in their programs. Yet, there were small gaps in some approaches to micro-issues found in the field. These gaps are fixable given the innovation demonstrated by mHealth groups.


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Health Information Technology | Health Services Research | Public Health | Public Health Education and Promotion | Women's Health


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