A2J for Livelihood: Paid Crowdsourcing: Solution for Un(der)employment or Digital Sweatshop?

The outsourcing of in-house business operations has existed long before the advent of globalization in the 19th century, but the more recent offshore outsourcing stories are the ones we remember today: cultural imperialism in Indian call centers, garment sweatshop still prevalent all over the world and suicide after suicide at Foxconn in Shenzhen. But within today’s Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry, knowledge, legal and particularly information technology-based business outsourcing have taken center stage. Not surprisingly, high and growing technology penetration rates in the Global South have not gone unnoticed among socially minded enterprises and the international development sector—which brings us to the ICT4D version of BPO: Impact Sourcing or “microwork.”