Update from AppLab Indonesia – Serving the Poorest

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ICT4D Indonesia

Jason Hahn is Business Development Manager ICT Innovation, at Grameen Foundation Seattle.

UPDATE: 04/06/2011 We just released a case study on using Grameen Foundation’s Progress Out of Poverty Index (PPI) with PT Ruma to help them ensure they reach their goal of working with the poor and poorest.  You can read the case study here. 

In addition to the Grameen Foundation’s AppLab activities in Ghana and Uganda we are also very proud of our AppLab Indonesia and the innovative work we do there in conjunction with our local social enterprise partner, PT Ruma.  Working with PT Ruma we have built a network of 6,400 predominately poor village based entrepreneurs who sell mobile airtime and other telecommunications products to their neighbors (and boy do they sell – they reached over 560,000 customers as of February 2011) and increase their income while doing so.

Of those entrepreneurs who remain in the program more than 4 months approximately 50% double their income.  Increasing their income is a significant goal as  AppLab Indonesia and Ruma have worked together to use Grameen Foundation’s Progress out of Poverty Index to recruit the poor and poorest as entrepreneurs.   63% of the entrepreneurs working with Ruma are poor (living on less than $2.50/day) and 10% are the poorest of the poor (living on less than $1.25/day).

In a prior post my colleague Heather Thorne emphasized the importance of partnerships to success in ICT4D projects.  We’re very grateful for the generous financial and technical support provided by Qualcomm’s Wireless Reach initiative without which it would have been very difficult to accomplish this work.

In early April we will be breaking new ground with a series of mobile applications that will provide the poor, who may own a very simple mobile phone, with access to information they didn’t have before.  Sorry to be purposefully vague but we need to keep some surprises for the unveiling!


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