Case Studies in Socially Responsible Outsourcing

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Information about Case Studies in Socially Responsible Outsourcing

Published on January 9, 2009

Author: leila_c


Socially Responsible Outsourcing Case Studies Leila Chirayath Janah Founder & CEO,

The Premise Technology and knowlege jobs can lift entire families out of poverty. Work Home Bombay, India Bombay, India Call center floor Dharavi, South Asia’s largest slum Many of India’s 1M BPO workers commute Over 2.5M people living on 175 hectares from slum areas

Socially Responsible Outsourcing Talented people in Foreign capital Small firms poor regions $$$ a small slice of the $160B services outsourcing industry untapped talent micro-, small- and mid-sized businesses Socially responsible outsourcing promotes economic development and reduces poverty

Case Study: Digital Divide Data Location: Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Vientiane, Laos Nonprofit social venture led by Harvard • graduate Jeremy Hockenstein Started in Phnom Penh in 2002 with 25 • employees Types of services: form and survey • processing, transcription, digitization Offers education for sex-trafficked women, • on-site medical care, scholarship program (financed through donations) Currently employs 500+ people at 3x • Cambodian minimum wage Operationally self-sufficient with revenue from • services for clients including the Harvard Crimson

Case Study: Himalayan Techies Location: Kathmandu, Nepal Social venture led by American Ellie • Skeele and Nepali MIT Grad Rabi Kamacharya Started in Kathmandu in 2000 with 3 • people to provide jobs for educated but underpriviledged Nepalis Types of services: Software and web • application development, IT “I was working in Bangalore before. Now I am consulting home, in Nepal, working on better technology and allowed to give my opinion about how Projects include One Laptop Per • things should be done. I feel like I am Child and Open Learning Exchange respected at HT.” programs Provides training, on-site recreational • Prakash Gautam, Technical Lead at facilities, and direct exposure to Himalayan Techies clients

Case Study: Drishtee BPO Location: Bihar, India Award-winning social venture led by • Satyan Mishra and Kunal Chawla Started in Delhi in 2000 to leverage • technology in rural poverty alleviation Types of services: Transcription, • online research, survey and form processing Distributed rural delivery model • reduces risk and taps into skilled rural workers Provides in-depth training for • workers with little prior experience

Case Study: Daproim Africa Location: Nairobi, Kenya Run by Steve Muthee, a young entrepreneur • from rural Kenya Started in 2006 with 4 people • Types of services: form and survey processing, • transcription, digitization, web development Offers part-time work to local university students • and facilities for disabled workers Plans to grow to 20-30 people • First large project branded as a socially • responsible outsourcing firm: $13K In pipeline: projects for clients including • Benetech, a Bay Area nonprofit, and the African Braille Center

Case Study: Preciss International Location: Nairobi, Kenya Run by two women, Mugure Mugo and • Ivy Kimani Started in 2002 with 5 employees • Types of services: online research, data • processing, subtitling, transcription Offers part-time work and on-site • training to university students, young mothers and recent graduates Planned growth to 70-80 employees • 30% of revenue goes to floor • employees In pipeline: projects between $10K and • $100K for clients in the US and UK

Case Study: Oriak Digital Location: Nairobi, Kenya View Video >>


The Problem: Talent Surplus 32 million rural Chinese leave their towns each year for big cities, in search of work 45 million rural Chinese youth are currently enrolled in senior secondary schools Source: Wang, Dewen. “China’s Rural Compulsory Education: Current Situation, Problems and Policy Alternatives.” Working Paper Series No.36. 2003 The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reports that there are 130 million surplus workers in rural India Source: “Rural BPO.” Drishtee BPO Presentation. March 2008. Over 990,000 young people graduate from secondary and tertiary institutions in Ghana and Kenya each year and face staggering unemployment Source: Kenya Ministry of Education; Ghana Ministry of Education; Samasource research November 2007 - March 2008.

Socially Responsible Outsourcing: Definition 1.0 Right now, it’s a nascent set of guiding principles for buyers who want to help low-income and socially disadvantaged people pull themselves out of poverty. Buyers are encouraged to follow any 2 of the 3 principles in choosing a service provider for outsourcing work. Principle Clarification 1 Includes firms located in: (a) a developing country, as Hire firms in low-income defined by the World Bank*; (b) an economically countries distressed region (e.g., Ceara, Brazil; Bihar, India) 2 Hire micro-, small- and mid- Includes firms that employ between 1 and 249 people sized firms 3 Hire firms that are owned “Disadvantaged” means: belonging to an ethnic or by, or employ a majority of, religious minority group, living at or under the poverty disadvantaged people line, physically or mentally disabled

How the guiding principles were developed Samasource spearheaded a series of conversations with many organizations from November 2007 to July 2008 to help develop the “1.0” version of these guidelines. They are only the beginning. In this first iteration, we left out several important considerations, such as labor and environmental standards for service providers. It is our hope that these principles evolve into the first fair trade system for services. To learn more, please visit Organizations consulted Responsible business groups Service Providers + Buyers Academics Industry Consultants

Positive Social Impact Socially responsible outsourcing creates positive social impact by: Outsourcing jobs in sub-Saharan Africa 1 Ghana directly generating jobs for skilled Senegal workers in low-income regions with Kenya high unemployment levels Uganda 0 1,000 2,000 3,000 4,000 1 direct job 2.5 indirect jobs 2 indirectly generating jobs for semi- and unskilled workers 3 reducing skilled-labor emigration, or “brain drain,” in low-income regions

Thank you! Leila Chirayath

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