From IMTFI (The Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion at the University of California, Irvine):
This call for proposals is open to all researchers who work in the developing world. Researchers are encouraged to submit proposals that involve a partnership with universities or other organizations in the developing world.
Deadline for submission: January 9, 2012. Decisions will be announced by mid-March 2012.
IMTFI is soliciting proposals for original scholarly research on mobile money services and platforms, the harnessing of new and existing social and technological infrastructures to promote savings and other forms of value storage and the facilitation of payments at scale for poor people in the developing world.
Research will focus on whether and how mobile money, agent networks, or other new systems for money savings and transfer are improving poor people’s ability to handle the setbacks and structural conditions that pull them into or keep them in poverty.
IMTFI is most keenly interested in value storage as is combined with payment capability (medium of exchange) and in how new types of value storage and exchange media have the potential to be transformative in the lives of the poor. Value storage might include state-issued currency but also livestock, land, gifts of labor, jewelry and other valuables, cards, and the use of mobile phones or other electronic devices.
Research proposals are especially welcomed that address elements of mobile money as a platform. That is: how is mobile money, as a hardware and software architecture, serving as a foundation for new services and functions? Or, how does it have the potential to do so?