Skoll Foundation


Digital Divide Data

Skoll Awardee(s): Jeremy Hockenstein and Mai Siriphongphanh
Award Year: 2008
Issue Area(s) Addressed: Economic Opportunity, Education

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“Every individual who walks through DDD’s doors – whether disabled, from a rural migrant family, or rescued from the sex trade – walks back out into their community as a leader.”

Sub-Issues: Livelihoods; Post-Secondary Education; Youth Job Skills  Southeast Asian countries have the same surplus of inexpensive labor that make India and China stars in the global outsourcing economy, but are hindered by underinvestment in capacity and access to markets.

The Skoll Awardees: 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 since joining the portfolio in 2008:

  • 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.



© 2015 Skoll Foundation.