I am an anthropologist currently researching digital media and digital money in Kenyan society and culture. See the video about my research project on mobile money made by Mr. Steve McCord:
Since 2009 I’ve been examining the role of mobile money systems in the financial practices and social relationships of Kenyans. My research has been funded by the Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion (IMTFI) at the University of California-Irvine (through grants in 2012, 2014, 2015), by the Fulbright Program of the US Department of State (2009-2010 Senior Scholar to Kenya) and by faculty research grants from Northern Illinois University and American University. I’m interested in understanding the impact of mobile communication, digital payments and finance, and digital media in Kenya.
Mobile money refers to mobile phone-based money transfer services such as Safaricom’s M-PESA. Digital money and transfer services such as M-Pesa have been extremely popular in Kenya, where there are more mobile money accounts than there are adults. My research examines the use and impact of such systems as forms of economic cooperation and social interaction.