United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Cell Phone Usage

In many countries cell phones are also issued for security reasons and I do not have a problem with the issuance of these.  Please note that landlines are very unreliable here.  We have two classes of cell phones – the Blackberry (which gives access to data – e-mails and the like) and another (I do not know the name, which is strictly a cell phone).  The policy has been to allow incidental use and we only review costs individual bills closely when it exceeds a set minimum – this is an operational efficiency to ensure that the cost of managing and recording does not exceed what we collect.  In general we have brought the costs down and repeatedly reminded people not to use roaming (especially for phone calls – the roaming charges for texting and e-mails are insignificant) when they are out of the country.  But I still find that staff use it when they are out of the country on TDY – please remember that the East Africa office travels quite a bit. 

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Idea No. 14208