Employment: Digital Jobs to Fight Poverty | Future planet

Employment: Digital Jobs to Fight Poverty |  Future planet
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Would you believe it if you were told that residents of slums and rural neighborhoods in Kenya, Uganda, India, or Haiti work for companies like Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Intel, Trip Advisor, or Getty Images?

As unbelievable as it may seem, Samasaurus He achieved it. SMA, which means equality in Sanskrit, is a data management and processing outsourcing company. Image classification, data classification and verification, content digitization or audio services are among its service offerings. What is impressive is that these operations are being carried out from the poorest parts of the planet by the most disadvantaged people; More than 50% of employees are women who now work in leading companies in the global economy.

Thanks to Samasource, its staff verifies the data that makes up the algorithm Google More intelligently, they detect inappropriate content on… Trip advisor Or work for Getty Images Tag photos of Andy Murray or Rihanna from Northern Uganda.

A group of women from a Muslim community on the outskirts of Calcutta are working on LinkedIn. They told us that they were always told that their job was at home and that it was not their role to make money. Proving that this is not the case is a victory, and the money in your pocket is a treasure.

Samasource has already employed more than 7,600 people who have multiplied their income by 3.7 times. From an average of $2.20 per day to $8.15 per day, after three and a half years. According to their calculations, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency has so far succeeded in improving the quality of life of nearly 31,000 people, improving the income of 7,600 direct beneficiaries, and the quality of life of more than 21,000 indirect beneficiaries. After a difficult few years, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency appears to have found its formula and credibility. In 2015, it was able to double the number of beneficiaries from the previous year.

Laila Jana, a first-generation American from an immigrant family in Mumbai, founded Samasource in 2008, when she was 25, to connect people living below the poverty line with technology jobs that were easy to do remotely.

Laila Jannah, founder of the Sama Foundation, teaches refugee girls in Dagahali camp in Dadaab, Kenya.Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency

Laila had the first idea about Sama working as a consultant for Booz & Company. His clients were leading outsourcing companies, and he started working at a large Indian call center, where he realized that most of his employees had moved from rural areas and were crammed into the poorest neighborhoods of Bombay. “Instead of forcing people to move to big cities, we are trying, with the help of the Internet, to give them jobs where they live. “The Internet allows you to work in the middle of nowhere,” was his first assumption.

To do this, they needed to create what they called “micro-jobs,” small tasks or units of work that could be done by disadvantaged people who reported to local computing centers. To maintain the quality of work, Sama has developed Programming Which divides jobs into small tasks. So far it has worked with external computing centers. But in 2015, it opened its own work center on the outskirts of Nairobi to break dependence on centers and achieve greater quality control.

Sama employees, before starting work, only have to meet one condition: living below the poverty line. The company is responsible for training, among other things; Digital literacy, essential skills, preparation for work or financial education.

Sama employees, before starting work, only have to meet one condition: living below the poverty line

Sama is committed to employing only disadvantaged people. Moreover, over these years, and not rhetorically, it has tracked the income of the people it employs from the time of hire until well afterward. Initially, to emphasize that it targets people without a living wage, and in the longer term to measure and verify its impact. Because of this, they have been able to evaluate their impact at a multiple of four of their starting salary in less than four years.

Reaching remote areas without internet is one of the biggest challenges, but in some of India's poorest areas there are already buses that can train up to 14 students inside.

Students on the bus

For Getty Images, the alliance with Samasource was a major competitive advantage. It was an excellent collaboration. We are pleased with the quality and volume they are able to achieve. The advantages of working with an organization like Samasource are clear. “If you can get the same quality and cost as with other suppliers but add the benefit of collaborating with a life-changing organization, there's no question,” says Steve Heck, the company's chief technology officer.

Samasource helps too Walmart In its innovative project in the field of e-commerce, which aims to build a system that provides its customers with a similar shopping experience regardless of where they are located. For this, product classification is key. In this sense, Samasource is an arm of @WalmartLabs. “The quality of work or dedication of the team has far exceeded expectations, with a quality index of 92% and a turnover rate of close to zero,” explains Ram Rampalli, Product Manager.

Training course with Usha Martin Rural Services in Jharkhand, India.Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency


Once Samasource was launched, and in the midst of the global crisis, Laila received several emails accusing it of taking away essential jobs in the United States. Given the levels of poverty and inequality in some parts of the country, he decided to launch SamaUSA.

To do this, the company had to redefine its model. Income from small jobs is enough to lift someone out of poverty in Uganda, but not in the North American country. Therefore, instead of training students on specific tasks for particular jobs, they train them in basic computing and digital knowledge that can be transferred to online jobs.

Right now, they have three pilot projects, two in North Carolina and one in Manhattan. Last year, these programs generated some form of employment for about 30% of students, who after six months earned an average of $15 per hour.

For Sama employees, being able to do this type of work represents a great opportunity, not only economically, and a source of great pride. It also makes them feel essential to the world's leading companies and introduces them to the real economy. As Leila says, “Poverty can only be ended if we recognize and strengthen the intrinsic capabilities of everyone, including the poorest people on the planet.”

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