Driving development through ‘impact’ outsourcing.
Over 1,800 ‘graduates’ to date.
In a brave new world where the traditional lines between business and NGO are becoming increasingly blurred, Digital Divide Data could perhaps provide a glimpse into the future. Founded as a small startup in Phnom Penh in 2001, the organization was conceived by consultant Jeremy Hockenstein as a vehicle to apply India’s IT outsourcing model to drive poverty reduction in South East Asia.
Digital Divide Data is designed as an incubator of human capital, providing disadvantaged youth in Cambodia, Laos and Kenya with the education and training necessary to deliver competitively priced technology services to global clients (in competition with leading for-profit companies). The organization is structured as a social enterprise, training orphans, rural migrants and the disabled in basic computer and English skills and then hiring those who meet professional standards as entry level employees. These employees split their days between client projects, on-site training and further education – funded by scholarships from Digital Divide Data and donors – before moving into internal management positions or jobs in the wider economy.
With a self-sustaining non-profit model that re-invests revenues back into the company, Digital Divide Data has a significant impact – ‘graduates’ go on to earn more than four times the average regional wage, while the organization is currently the largest technology employer in Cambodia and Laos.
(Photo © Digital Divide Data)