What NGOs need to know about working with mobiles

1. In times of crisis, the tactical use of mobile phones can save lives.
2. Using mobile phones, NGOs and independent advocates can reach people that they couldn't reach before.
3. NGOs can communicate with people in new ways: text alerts, multimedia and surveys are some of the mobile applications available.
4. The communities served by NGOs and advocacy groups can use mobile phones to provide and share information as well as receiving it.

But:
5. Mobile technologies, economies and policies are diverse and change rapidly, which can make it difficult for organisations to plan mobile advocacy programmes effectively.
6. Mobile advocacy strategies are new and haven't been thoroughly evaluated so it can be hard to assess what will work best in a particular situation or with a particular audience.
7. A great deal of sensitive information can be stored and exchanged on a mobile device, so security and privacy are vital issues.
8. Some of the applications that enable more advanced uses of mobile phones are very challenging to use and might require specialist technical support.