mobile-centric internet use

Donner, J. and Locke, C. Platforms at the margins (2018). In Graham, M. (ed.) Digital Economies at global margins. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Donner, Jonathan (2015). After Access: Inclusion, Development, and a More Mobile Internet. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Donner, Jonathan and Cecile Bezuidenhoudt (2013), In a world with mobile data, survey questions about Internet use should no longer implicitly favor PCs, in K. M. Cumiskey and L. Hjorth (eds) Mobile media practices, presence and politics: The challenge of being seamlessly mobile, Routledge.

Donner, Jonathan and Marion Walton (2013). Your phone has internet – why are you at a library PC? Re-imagining public access for the mobile internet era. In P. Kotze, et. al, (eds), INTERACT 2013, Part 1, LNCS 8117, pp. 347-364, Springer.

Walton, M. & Donner, J., (2012). Public access, private mobile: The interplay of shared access and the mobile Internet for teenagers in Cape Town. Global Impact Study Research Report Series. Cape Town, South Africa: University of Cape Town.

Donner, Jonathan, Gitau, Shikoh, & Gary Marsden (2011). Exploring mobile-only internet use: results of a training study in urban South Africa. International Journal of Communication, 5, 574–597.

Gitau, Shikoh, Marsden, Gary, & Donner, Jonathan. (2010). After access – Challenges facing mobile-only internet users in the developing worldProceedings of the 28th international conference on human factors in computing systems (CHI 2010) (pp. 2603-2606). New York: ACM.

Donner, J. & Gitau, S. New paths: exploring mobile-centric internet use in South Africa. Paper presented at Mobile 2.0: Beyond Voice?” Pre-conference workshop at the International Communication Association (ICA) Conference Chicago, Illinois. Chicago. 20-21 May 2009


everyday mobile use in the global south

Caribou Digital (2015), Digital Lives in Ghana, Kenya, and Uganda (Farnham, Surrey, United Kingdom: Caribou Digital Publishing, 2015.

Ling, R. & Donner, J. (2009). Mobile Communication. Cambridge, UK: Polity.

Steenson, Molly & Donner, J. (2009). Beyond the personal and private: Modes of mobile phone sharing in urban India (pp. 231-250). In S. W. Campbell & R. Ling (Eds.), The Reconstruction of Space and Time: Mobile Communication Practices (Vol. 1). Piscataway, NJ: Transaction Books.

Donner, Jonathan. (2008). Research Approaches to Mobile Use in the Developing World: A Review of the Literature.  The Information Society 24(3), 140-159. (Alternate link to author post version)

Donner, Jonathan, Rangaswamy, N., Steenson, M. W., & Wei, C. (2008). “Express yourself” and “Stay together”: The middle-class Indian family (pp. 325-338). In J. Katz (Ed.), The handbook of mobile communication studies. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Donner, Jonathan. (2007). The Rules of Beeping: Exchanging Messages Via Intentional “Missed Calls” on Mobile Phones. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 13(1).


information and communication technologies and development (general ICT4D and M4D)

Marsden, G., May, J, Donner, J. & Parikh, T. Proceedings of ICTD ’13 The Sixth International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development, Cape Town, South Africa — December 7-10, 2013,New York: ACM Press.

Best, Michael, Zegura, Ellen, Donner, Jonathan, Grinter, Rebecca E. & Gary Marsden (2012). Proceedings of ICTD ’12 The Fifth International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development, Atlanta, GA, USA — March 12 – 15, 2012, New York: ACM Press.

Donner, Jonathan. (2010). Framing M4D: The Utility of Continuity and the Dual Heritage of “Mobiles and Development”The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries, 44(3) 1-16.

Donner, J., & Toyama, K. (2009, 17-21 August). Persistent themes in ICT4D Research: priorities for inter-methodological exchange. Paper presented at the 57’th Session of the International Statistics Institute (ISI), Durban, South Africa.

Donner, Jonathan. (2008). Shrinking fourth world? Mobiles, development, and inclusion (pp. 28-42). In J. Katz (Ed.), The handbook of mobile communication studies. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Donner, J., Verclas, K., & Toyama, K. (2008). Reflections on MobileActive08 and the M4D Landscape. In J. S. Pettersson (Ed.), Proceedings of the First International Conference on M4D (pp. 73-83). Karlstad, Sweden: Karlstad University Studies.

Donner, Jonathan, Rikin Gandhi, Paul Javid, Indrani Medhi, Aishwarya Ratan, Kentaro Toyama, Rajesh Veeraraghavan (2008, June). Stages of design in technology for global developmentComputer, 41(6),  34-41.


Partnership for Finance in a Digital Africa, Microentrepeneurs in a platform era. Farnham, Surrey, United Kingdom: Caribou Digital Publishing.

Donner, J., & Maunder, A. (2014). Beyond the phone number: Challenges of representing informal microenterprise on the Internet. In J. E. Katz (Ed.), Living inside mobile social information (pp. 159–192). Dayton, Ohio: Greyden Press.

Donner, Jonathan, & Marcela X. Escobari (2010). A review of evidence on mobile use by micro and small enterprises in developing countriesJournal of International Development, 22, 641-658. doi: 10.1002/jid.1717 (alternate link to pre-peer-review draft paper)

Donner, Jonathan. (2009). Mobile-based livelihood services in Africa: pilots and early deployments. In M. Fernández-Ardèvol & A. Ros (Eds.), Communication technologies in Latin America and Africa: A multidisciplinary perspective (pp. 37-58). Barcelona: IN3.

Donner, Jonathan, & Escobari, Marcela (2009). A review of the research on mobile use by micro and small enterprises (MSEs). In R. Heeks & R. Tongia (Eds.), Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Information and Communications Technologies and Development, (ICTD 2009) (pp. 17-26). Doha: IEEE

Donner, Jonathan. (2009). Blurring livelihoods and lives: The social uses of mobile phones and socioeconomic developmentInnovations: Technology, Governance, Globalization, 4(1), 91-101.

Donner, Jonathan. (2009). Mobile media on low-cost handsets: The resiliency of text messaging among small enterprises in India (and beyond). In G. Goggin & L. Hjorth (Eds.), Mobile technologies: from telecommunications to media (pp. 93-104). New York: Routledge.

Donner, Jonathan. (2007). Customer acquisition among small and informal businesses in urban India: Comparing face to face, interpersonal, and mediated channels.The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries 32(3) 1-16.

Donner, Jonathan. (2006). The use of mobile phones by microentrepreneurs in Kigali, Rwanda: Changes to social and business networksInformation Technologies and International Development 3 (2): 3-19.

Donner, Jonathan. (2005). The social and economic implications of mobile telephony in Rwanda: An ownership/access typology. In P. Glotz, S. Bertschi & C. Locke (Eds.), Thumb culture: The meaning of mobile phones for society (pp. 37-52). Bielefeld, Germany: Transcript Verlag. (Alternate URL // Reprint))

Donner, Jonathan (2004). Microentrepreneurs and mobiles: an exploration of the uses of mobile phones by small business owners in Rwanda. Information Technologies and International Development 2(1), 1-22.

Donner, Jonathan (2003). What mobile phones mean to Rwandan entrepreneurs. In Kristof Nyiri, ed., Mobile Democracy: Essays on Society, Self and Politics. Vienna: Passagen Verlag: 393-410.

ICTs and microenterprise


Schwartz, A., Bhavsar, M., Cutrell, E., Donner, J. and M. Densmore (2014). Optimizing Mobile Deployments, Microsoft Research Technical Report, MSR-TR-2014-45, 1 April.

Schwartz, A., Bhavsar, M., Cutrell, E., Donner, J. and M. Densmore (2013). Balancing Burden and Benefit: Non-Prescribed Use of Employer-Issued Mobile Devices, in Proc. ICTD 2013, Dec 07-10 2013, Cape Town, South Africa, ACM, 7 December.

Donner, J., & Mechael, P., (Eds.) (2012). mHealth in Practice: Mobile technology for health promotion in the developing world. London: Bloomsbury Academic. (link to open access e-book)

Nyaruhirira, I., L. Munyakazi, J. Donner, J. Ruxin, C. Schocken, D. Ellis, G. Scharffenberger, P. Johnson, L. Sundaram. (2004, July). Technology Supports Rapid Scale-Up of Rwanda’s HIV/AIDS Care and Treatment Programs.  Presented at “AIDS 2004: XV International Conference”. Bangkok, Thailand.

Donner, Jonathan (2004, June). Innovative approaches to public health information systems in developing countries: An example from Rwanda. Presented at ‘Mobile Technology and Health: Benefits and Risks’. Hosted by the Department of Economics, Society, and Geography at the University of Udine, Udine, Italy.

mobile health


Bailur, S., Schoemaker, E., and Donner, J. (2016) “Paying for access or content? Blurred understandings of mobile internet data in Ghana, Kenya and Uganda”. In Proceedings of GlobalDev16, the Annual Workshop of the AIS Special Interest Group for ICT in Global Development. AIS Electronic Library (AISeL).

Oeldorf-Hirsch, Anne; Donner, Jonathan; and Edward Cutrell (2012) “How bad is good enough? Exploring mobile video quality trade-offs for bandwidth-constrained consumers.” In Proc NordiCHI 2012. New York: ACM.

Chetty, Marshini; Banks, Richard; Bernheim Brush, A.J.; Donner, Jonathan and Rebecca Grinter (2012). “You’re Capped!” Understanding the Effects of Bandwidth Caps on Broadband Use in the Home. Proceedings of CHI 2012, 5-10 May, Austin, TX.

Chetty, M., Banks, R., Brush, A. J. B., Donner, J., & Grinter, R. E. (2011, March-April). While the Meter is Running: Computing in a Capped WorldInteractions18(2), 72-75.

Donovan, Kevin, & Jonathan Donner (2010). A note on the availability (and importance) of pre-paid mobile data in Africa. In J. Svensson & G. Wicander (Eds.), 2nd International Conference on Mobile Communication Technology for Development (M4D2010) (pp. 263-267). Karlstad, Sweden: Karlstad University.

metered and constrained bandwidth


Mudliar, P., & Donner, J. Experiencing interactive voice response (IVR) as a participatory medium: The case of CGNet Swara in IndiaMobile Media & Communication. (alternate link to pre-publication version)

Mudliar, Preeti, Donner, Jonathan & William Thies (2013). Emergent practices around CGNet Swara: A voice forum for citizen journalism in Rural IndiaInformation Technologies & International Development, 9(2) 65-79.

Mudliar, Preeti, Donner, Jonathan & William Thies (2012). Emergent Practices Around CGNet Swara, A Voice Forum for Citizen Journalism in Rural India. Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development, Atlanta (ICTD2012). (pp. 159-168) New York, ACM. (slides) (doi: 10.1145/2160673.2160695)

Walton, Marion & Jonathan Donner (2011) Read-Write-Erase: Mobile-mediated publics in South Africa’s 2009 elections. In Katz, James E (ed), Mobile Communication: Dimensions of Social Policy (pp 117-132). New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers. (prepublication version)

citizen journalism and participation


Donner, Jonathan, & Tellez, Camilo A. (2008). Mobile banking and economic development: Linking adoption, impact, and useAsian Journal of Communication 18(4) 318-332. (alternate link to preprint version)

mobile money


Donner, Jonathan. (2001). Using Q sorts in participatory processes: An introduction to the methodology. In Social Analysis: Selected Tools and Techniques (Social Development Papers 36, pp. 24-49). Washington, DC: The World Bank.

participatory research methods