Digital Empowerment for Sustainable Economic Growth

Purpose: Enhancing Afghans’ and Pakistanis’ earning potential by increasing access to information and connectivity with the global market place.

Timeline: 3 month pilot in Afghanistan in 2013, proposed 12-month scale-up would be rolled out at different sites over 2-3 years on both sides of the Afghanistan/Pakistan border

Beneficiaries: 26 students were equipped with tablets and a total of 90 individuals took part in the pilot; target 3,600-9,000 predominantly female participants in Afghanistan & Pakistan over 3 years

 

Goals: 

  1. To empower women in post-conflict and developing countries by providing the means to accelerate their learning, increase economic independence with the potential to boost their incomes, and connect with each other and the outside world without the need to leave their homes
  2. To support men in post-conflict and developing countries by providing the means to accelerate their learning, increase their earnings with the potential to boost household incomes, and promote stability 

 

Activities:

  • Obtain open-source, low-cost, internet-enabled tablets and wireless transponders.
  • Customize tablets for operation in Dari, Pashto, or Urdu as appropriate and pre-load with relevant business and literacy applications.
  • Provide entrepreneurs with tablet computers and training in digital literacy and e-commerce.
  • Measure outcomes every 3-6 months.

Results to date:

  • Increased economic growth in the form of businesses successfully launched and exports from the community: Pilot participants assisted in the development of the Aayenda Jewelry e-commerce retail and wholesale websites, which is maintained and updated by members of the Aayenda Jewelry Cooperative.
  • Improved IT access and usage by women: Half of the pilot participants were women (13/26) and 8 staff members from project partner, the Women’s Annex were trained in creating m-learning using Ustad Mobile. The Women’s Annex plans to create Dari instruction videos for the applications on Youtube. 

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