Corporate Social Responsibility

CSR Partner: Digital Divide Data

Creating career opportunities for disadvantaged youth in Asia and Africa

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It’s a global development challenge: the growing number of young people who are unemployed, under-employed, or lack skills needed for sustainable employment. Cisco technology is helping Digital Divide Data open up a world of opportunities to this struggling population by providing them with employment training and career options.

Who: Work opportunities where none existed before

Digital Divide Data uses technology to provide its global client base with web, field, and market research, and data entry, digitization, and document conversion services through its centers in Kenya, Cambodia, and Laos. The tasks are performed by youth from low-income families whom Digital Divide Data has recruited, trained, and hired. Work is also offered to un- and under-employed spouses of military personnel at Ft. Monroe, Virginia, through Liberty Source.

  • Workers also receive access to loans, healthcare, and scholarships to earn a college degree
  • 2000+ youth hired by Digital Divide Data since 2001
  • 50% of participants are young women, others have some disability
  • Prior to being hired, workers earned less than US$2 per day

How: Technology helps broaden reach

With Cisco support since 2010, Digital Divide Data has improved the technology infrastructure in its Cambodia and Laos offices and established and expanded programs in all three of its locations. These grants have allowed the organization to recruit, train, and employ more youth, increase its revenues, and better serve its global client base.

  • The use of Cisco products helps Digital Divide Data reduce downtime and support 24/7
  • Technology helped the organization consolidate over 30 terabytes of data into a centralized location and improve data security
  • Donated equipment helps Digital Divide Data grow its business while training and employing more young people
  • Cash support helps Digital Divide Data offer more advanced services to clients, train and evaluate employees, and raise productivity

Impact Multiplied

Young people hired by Digital Divide Data earn 3 to 4 times the average local salary. They are able to go from poverty to the middle class and become role models for their families and peers. The organization’s impact sourcing model demonstrates how Internet-based work and education can offer a pathway to opportunity, financial independence, and, ultimately, a better life.

  • $368 average monthly salary of graduates
  • $175,000 estimated increase in lifetime earnings of graduates
  • 80% of Digital Divide Data’s revenue is from earned income, enabling a more sustainable program
  • Participants receive a steady and reliable income, allowing them to move from poverty to middle class, and become role models for their families and peers

“Before DDD, I thought the world was not fair to poor people like me … but when I started to work at DDD, everything began to change in my education and my family life.” – Masy Sou, Cambodia

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