mobile-centric internet use

Donner, Jonathan and Cecile Bezuidenhoudt (2013), In a world with mobile data, survey questions about Internet use should no longer implicitly favour PCs, in 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

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.


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


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