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Africa & Middle East

Rockefeller Foundation to Foster Impact Sourcing in Africa

A new report funded by the Rockefeller Foundation estimates that the field of Impact Sourcing, employing socioeconomically disadvantaged people in Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) centers, is currently US$4.5 billion and has the potential to reach US$20 billion and employ 780,000 by 2015.

The report, conducted by Monitor Group, suggests a strong business case for Impact Sourcing, which can provide high-quality, reliable services at prices that are at least competitive with traditional BPO centers and, in some cases, almost 40% lower than what traditional providers can offer.

The findings, contained in the new working paper, Job Creation through Building the Field of Impact Sourcing, also finds significant potential for poverty alleviation because Impact Sourcing workers can earn incomes up to 100% over alternative employment options.

The working paper is part of the Rockefeller Foundation’s Poverty Reduction through Information and Digital Employment (PRIDE) work. Through PRIDE, the Rockefeller Foundation plans to support the development and testing of Impact Sourcing business models, support research on interventions and continue to build the network of key Impact Sourcing stakeholders to advance the field.

Impact Sourcing employs individuals with limited opportunity for sustainable employment as principal workers in Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) centres to provide high-quality, information-based services to domestic and international public and private-sector clients.

“Harnessing the global BPO trend, PRIDE exemplifies the Rockefeller Foundation’s commitment to promoting growth with equity, in which the poor and vulnerable have more access to opportunities, such as ICT employment,” said Dr. James Nyoro, Managing Director, Africa. “The Foundation is proud to partner with Monitor on this important research, which drives the idea that employing low-income workers will provide them with sustainable income which can lead to positive social outcomes, ultimately helping to improve livelihoods and build relevant skills for employment in the fast growing ICT sector.”

Job Creation through Building the Field of Impact Sourcing features case studies on current Impact Sourcing models in Africa, India and other regions, including those of Foundation grantees like Digital Divide Data, a social enterprise with the objective of creating jobs for poor and disadvantaged youth in Cambodia, Laos and Kenya; and Samasource, an intermediary that markets and sells Impact Sourcing services to clients based in the United States and United Kingdom.

“Based on more than 120 interviews across 13 countries with Impact Sourcing managers, providers of BPO services, outsourcing experts, employees, outsourcing clients, government officials, and other individuals linked to the Impact Sourcing space, this analysis creates a shared understanding of the current situation, the size of the opportunity and action agenda necessary to build this field,” said Michael Kubzansky, Global Heald of the Monitor Inclusive Markets Initiative.

About Rockefeller Foundation

The Rockefeller Foundation’s mission to promote the well-being of people throughout the world has remained unchanged since its founding in 1913. Today, that mission is applied to an era of rapid globalization. Our vision is that this century will be one in which globalization’s benefits are more widely shared and its challenges are more easily weathered. To realize this vision, the Foundation seeks to achieve two fundamental goals in our work.

First, we seek to build resilience that enhances individual, community and institutional capacity to survive, adapt, and grow in the face of acute crises and chronic stresses. Second, we seek to promote growth with equity in which the poor and vulnerable have more access to opportunities that improve their lives. In order to achieve these goals, the Foundation constructs its work into time-bound initiatives that have defined objectives and strategies for impact. These initiatives address challenges that lie either within or at the intersections of five issue areas: basic survival safeguards, global health, environment and climate change, urbanization, and social and economic security. For more information, please visit http://www.rockefellerfoundation.org.

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