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  • Awarded: 2008
  • Issue Areas: Economic Opportunity · Education · Livelihoods · Post-Secondary Education · Youth Job Skills
  • Countries Served: Cambodia
  • Web:
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    About the Organization

    Digital Divide Data (DDD) delivers digital content, data, and research services to clients worldwide. Customers receive high-quality, competitively-priced digital content services. At the same time, DDD’s innovative social model enables talented youth from low-income families to access professional opportunities and earn higher incomes. This model, established by DDD in 2001, is now called “Impact Sourcing” and has been implemented by dozens of firms around the world.

    DDD’s clients include leading publishing, media, and information services firms; consumer brands and retailers; government agencies; libraries, museums, and archives; investment, telecommunications, and manufacturing firms; and NGOs.

    Since 2001, DDD’s program has increased lifetime earnings for youth in Cambodia, Laos, and Kenya by a projected total of more than US$250 million. DDD’s social model is unique in that youth have the opportunity to complete higher education while they gain work experience.

    DDD has been recognized worldwide for quality service, innovation, and social impact.

    Southeast Asia could compete with India and China stars in the global outsourcing economy, but lacks capacity and access to markets.

    DDD's "Impact Sourcing" business trains and employs Southeast Asians in well-paid technology work.

    Ambition for Change

    IT infrastructure and business partnerships make it possible for poor youth from Southeast Asia and other underinvested areas to qualify for skilled technical jobs in the global information economy.

    Path to Scale

    Grow a Social Business, Influence the Industry

    DDD is pursuing both growth of its own business and promotion of the “Impact Sourcing” model as a best practice in business process outsourcing (BPA).

    Jeremy Hockenstein was an executive at McKinsey & Co. with experience in the technology outsourcing market when he realized, on a visit to Cambodia, that Southeast Asia could address chronic unemployment and poverty by developing human capital to compete in this market. While he was launching Digital Divide Data as a social venture, Mai Siriphongphanh sought him out and offered to help. She was from a l Laotian family but had broken with tradition to pursue an education abroad, developing an interest in social enterprise in business school. Together they built DDD’s “Impact Sourcing” business, providing competitive outsourcing of business services such as creation of digital content, data entry and records management, research, image processing, financial and human resources services to customers including publishing and media enterprises, agencies and NGOs, commercial brands and retailers. Its work/study program offers young people from very poor families to gain work experience and access to higher education. At the time of the Award, DDD had 550 employees and 1,200 graduates, earning six times the national wage in Laos and Cambodia. Mai has left the organization.

    Impact & Accomplishments

    • Replication of the model in Kenya and Vietnam.
    • 670 graduates as of 2013; cumulative total of 2,041 individuals hired.
    • Industry institutions such as the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals are changing the ways they do business to embrace the “Impact Sourcing” model.
    • The average employee spends about four years at DDD before moving on to another professional position.
    • In 2013, the Rockefeller Foundation made a $97 million commitment to create digital employment for youth in Africa and strengthen the “Impact Sourcing” model, in partnership with DDD.


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