“Ten Seeds”: How Mobiles Have Contributed to Development in Women-Led Farming Cooperatives in Lesotho

Katharine Vincent, Tracy Cull

Abstract


The potential for mobiles to contribute to development has been widely heralded, but evaluations tend to be technically oriented and not framed by development theories. Thus, empirical evidence on their actual developmental impact is limited. This article attempts to address this gap by building on several follow-up qualitative evaluations over the four years since mobiles were provided to the women-led Thulare Dairy Farming Cooperative in Lesotho. Using theories of development as economic growth, empowerment, and choice, the article highlights the ways that, in these women-led farming cooperatives, development has certainly been achieved for all of these elements. In so doing, it argues for the importance of qualitative and longitudinal evaluations to truly capture development impacts.

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