T.C. Irugalbandara1, S. Fernando2

1Rajarata University of Sri Lanka (SRI LANKA)
2University of Moratuwa (SRI LANKA)
Bottom of pyramid (BOP) is the largest and poorest socio-economic group in the world. More than 2.5 billion people in the world, who live on less than $2.50 per day, fall in to BOP category [1]. Between 2006 and 2009, Sri Lanka’s average Gross domestic product (GDP) was 5.5 per annum [2]. Due to its relatively low GDP per capita currently Sri Lanka is ranked in the bottom one third of the world. This could be traced back to the issue of poverty, specifically rural poverty. Over 80% of Sri Lankan population lives in rural areas and this includes 90% of poor people of the country [2]. A majority of Sri Lankan population falls in to the BOP category. These people are engaged in different trades such as farming, fishing, carpentry etc. Our previous studies reveals that most of these people engaged in their vocation because of the poverty or due to inheritance the trade from their parents not because of their talent or interest for the vocation. Their sole purpose is feeding their families and they are not much concern of vocational development. Due to the lack of the vocational knowledge, leads many failures in their vocations and their revenue relatively low. Vocational education enables to serve BOP and achieve sustainable livelihood. Adapting BOP people for a learning process remains a challenge. Most of them are of the opinion that they are not of an appropriate age for learning and they are preoccupied with their day-to-day work and their children. They are not ready to sacrifice their time, money for learning process. The proofs of the above factors were evident in our previous study.

One possible solution to this conundrum is the use of technology. With the exponential growth of mobile technology; the mobile phone has become one of the best ways to reach individuals in the BOP sector. Our target learners are differing from traditional learners. They have significant differences in their physical and psychological involvement in learning process. A Majority of them were in the age group of 24 to 65. Same time BOP peoples’ social needs have a negative influence on attitude to adopt learning. According to the preliminary studies it reveals that most of BOP people strongly believe that they have sufficient knowledge to continue their vocations. We cannot expect learners’ initiation for this process. Examine the motivational factors is essential so that it enable to develop a mobile learning framework in order to uplift livelihood and empower the vocations of BOP people.

Hence, this study examines mobile learning adaption of bottom of pyramid people from a motivational perspective. It employs Keller’s ARCS model of motivation theory to provide better understanding of what motivates m-learning adoption in BOP people. This study will provide an insight into the research that will form the path for mobile learning framework for BOP people.

[1] T. London, “The base-of-the-pyramid perspective: A new approach to poverty alleviation”, in Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings, 2008
[2] Nagenahiru Foundation. (2013). Poverty in Sri Lanka [Online]. Availabale: