Several of the shortlisted projects for the World Bank Development Marketplace focus on using ICT in interesting new ways to address issues of employment, government accountability, and trade.
Babajob is an organization that connects job seekers in the informal sector (housekeepers, drivers, etc) to employers. The service, by connecting employers with potential employees by location, skills or language, provides a greater efficiency to the job search in these sectors. It also creates a sense of transparency and trust for all parties, allowing for references and uploading of supporting documentation. The organization also reaches out to job seekers who might not have regular internet access by allowing for SMS alerts about nearby jobs and by joining forces with local mentors (NGOs, internet cafes, microfinance organizations, etc.) to spread the word about positions and also to recommend jobseekers.
The Women’s Organization for Socio-Cultural Awareness is involved in many developmental need-based programs in India and believes in fostering sustainable development through training, capacity building and community participation. Their project aims to “up scale the tracking livelihood entitlements of rural communities in Orissa, India using mobile phone and information technology.”
The Earthy Goods Foundation submitted a proposal for Handcrafthaat, an online marketplace for small producers and contemporary handcrafted projects.
Earthy Goods was set up as a social enterprise in 2007 after a four month road trip to villages across remote rural outposts of India. As we traveled, we met many entrepreneurs and artisans who made natural products with traditional methods and immense goodness but faced challenges to market their products on fair terms.
The projects selected are being considered for a grant worth 50,000 USD for each of the 13 winners and are being selected based on their social impact, sustainability, growth potential and innovation.