NEW YORK: A new report funded by the Rockefeller Foundation estimates that the field of impact sourcing, employing socio-economically disadvantaged people in business process outsourcing (BPO) centres, 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 centres 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, MD, 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."
Current impact sourcing models in Africa
"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 US and UK.
"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 head of the Monitor Inclusive Markets Initiative.
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