Connecting unemployed Bangladeshi youth with meaningful work that can be completed using an inexpensive smartphone and an internet connection
At 11.37% youth unemployment, Bangladesh has a population the size of Chile below the age of 24 and without a job. Despite having a growth rate of 6% in the last decade, Bangladesh has one of the highest unemployment rates in South Asia. While the government unemployment figure hovers at around 4-5%, The Economist estimates the number to be closer to 18% with graduate unemployment as high as 30%. Even if you could secure a job, it’s unlikely that you would make more than the national average wage of $145 per month. This is while 75% of business leaders claim that there is a scarcity of skilled young workers. The economy seems to have adjusted to a state of low skill, low productivity, low earning, and underemployment among workers. Unemployment also has a human cost. Besides the loss in income, people who are unemployed are more likely to suffer a wide range of medical and psychiatric problems. These problems are particularly acute among young workers just starting their careers and are also more susceptible to undesirable activities such as human trafficking, crime, or worse. Bangladesh is at a crossroads. On one hand, the country stands to benefit from a ‘demographic dividend’ with a youth population of around 52 million (33% of the population), making it attractive for investment. At the same time, if a large segment of this population cannot find employment and earn a decent living, they risk becoming a source of social and political instability—a ‘demographic time bomb’.
D2 (short for “Dignity and Data”) connects unemployed young people from low-income backgrounds to meaningful work that can be completed using inexpensive smartphones and an internet connection. Users register as a D2 agent by installing our Android app called Shujog ( “opportunity” in Bangla) and creating a profile containing personal details, education information and preferred payment method. A registered agent can then discover and complete data collection tasks from the app. These tasks are created by our enterprise customers looking to answer critical business questions that require capturing data directly from the ground like conducting surveys, performing retail audits, and verifying addresses. After successfully completing a task, an agent is paid through mobile money or airtime.
A typical D2 agent makes $12 per hour, 70% more than the national average. Since tasks are matched to agents’ locations, we also eliminate the need to travel long distances for work. Furthermore, all tasks on D2 are opt-in so agents can choose when and how long to work. These features make us especially attractive to women as well as those living in peri-urban and rural areas who often have to overcome social and geographical barriers to to find employment. Given the extensibility of our platform, we plan to expand to other developing countries as well as add more task types like image annotation and audio transcription. In doing so, we believe we have the potential to transform the lives of millions of unemployed youth around the world.
Where our solution team is headquartered or located:Dhaka, Bangladesh
The dimensions of the Challenge our solution addresses:
- Razin Mustafiz CEO, D2