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Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory, Pakistan
Innovation & Community Lead
I am the Pakistan Amplify Community Manager. I engage local organizations and individuals to participate in the Amplify Program.
Throughout the course of the challenge I will be contributing research, helping contributors improve their ideas, capturing stories from local participants and building the local Amplify community.
I became interested in the Amplify Program because of my background in working with impact focused startups.
Reach out. I will add you to our local email list and you will be able to attend workshops to refine your ideas and meet other members.
This sounds super interesting! Two questions though:
(1) What has your experience been in convincing farmers to use technology? If you take me through the user experience of how they find out about your app/service/solution and who guides them into using it and how do you make sure they stick
(2) The second major concern I have is in understanding how sustainable this model is without piggybacking on a telco? I know Telenor is working on something called mAgri and so is Jazz so tell me a little bit about your business model dependancy on telcos and if your team sees it as a risk.
Thank you Maurice Omondi for your valid concerns and observations. I have tried to sum up my responses below:
1. Could please define your target group better by defining their geographical location, background etc. how many are we targeting and how will we select them?. In addition to solving the unemployment problem, can we also add some aspect of learning, knowledge generation and cross cultural exchange?
Our hope is to target young people at 20-35 years of age and mostly settled in the urban areas so they have access to education and technology. We will be using the networks created by our on ground partner in Nairobi to help us reach out to this audience and shortlist the most relevant candidates for this program. At the moment this program focuses on skill learning and helping the young people find jobs through technology.
2. Can you elaborate a bit more about yourself and what inspires you; then about the organizations you represent and the kind of impact it has had in the world. If possible, site some people who can vouch for you in the different countries you exist
Almost a decade ago a few kids in Pakistan discovered that they can use the internet to learn skills and make money of their own. I was one of these kids! My story started almost 10 years ago when I launched one of the most successful websites on the internet and made millions in revenue and that inspired me to later on launch this program so I can create thousand other individuals like myself.
You can read up more on the younger version of me in this interview: http://www.retireat21.com/interview/interview-with-saad-hamid-founder-of-sizlopedia
Today, I am just a guy who is trying to bridge the world of technology and impact.
3. I guess the idea will be implemented in Kenya and in Pakistan. In both areas, define the target population. Are they from the disadvantaged groups e.g. from the low income areas? Or unemployed graduates who are looking for skills to better equip them
Our focus is urban youth who are have access to education, knowledge and internet but are unemployed and looking for opportunities.
4. Elaborate on similar experience explaining how it worked and what we are planning to do differently
We have run numerous similar programs in Pakistan which produced thousands of successful students over the course of years. Even the government came in and adopted our program. We have included the case-study of one of our success stories, Kashif Taj, who is now earning 300% more after going through our program.
5. Considering that many youth now have smart phones, how can we transfer the concept to smart phones e.g. an application for learning on the go. I guess that is the aspect that has not yet been solved by previous interventions. I guess this idea can answer the problem of getting quality skills through a mobile device. Let’s think of a combination between formal classroom and virtual classroom through a phone.
You are right. This is a challenge that we have been trying to look at and honestly we are not sure that if smart phones are the solution. The learning of skills requires a very controlled environment and a lot of attention and smart phones are total opposite of this. To learn skills, soft or hardcore, requires one to go through a lot of experiential learning for which we believe computers/laptops are the best since they are meant for attentive learning and tasking and while we are very open to the idea of using technology and online platforms for learning skills, we are still not convinced if the same can be done with smart phones.
6. To increase uniqueness, bring aspects of cost reduction and disruption of the existing models. For example, how can people with very little education use the model and how do they get some sought of reward or certification
Noted - this is something we need to work on.
7. Considering ELF will implement the project in Kenya, kindly share the ELF mentoring approach in brief
ELF is the on ground partner for this event but all content, curriculum and other learning will be implemented by School of Skills.