Unemployment is a major problem in Kenya, especially in informal settlements. A creative solution, called Kazi560, is having great success matching blue-collar workers with jobs via SMS. If you’re a laborer, you can spend an amazing amount of your time wandering from one worksite to another, looking for opportunities. With Kazi560, workers can register via mobile phones and receive text messages, letting them know about job opportunities.
The video above outlines some of the early successes of the project. Employers are evidently willing to pay to use the service, suggesting that it can become self-sustaining fiscally, over time. The application is one of several developed by a project called Mobile4Good, which is supported by the UK arm of international foundation OneWorld. It’s a very exciting, simple and extremely practical application that shows how powerful mobiles can be for addressing problems in the developing world. (Hat tip to Hash for pointing me to the video.)