Konbit helping organizations source local labor instead of relying on their internal employees. After natural disasters, many NGOs flood developing countries with outside help but have little ability to plug into the local community for employment despite their needs. In a country like Haiti, where over half the population is literate and 70% have never had a job, the lack of interface with locals is a giant missed opportunity and highly problematic.
After the Haitian earthquake, myself and Greg Elliott sought to help by creating Konbit. Natives (illiterate or literate) call our automated service and we help them record their skills based upon their life experiences as compelling, story-like messages. These messages become transcribed and translated by Haitians in Haiti, and uploaded to our servers at MIT to be search by NGOs.
We worked with Marli Lalanne of Konbit for Haiti - a local community center in Miami to beta test our service. Prof. Michel DeGraff of MIT helped us create our original prompts. Digicel launched and hosted the service for free in Haiti, and Haitian radio personality Bob Lemoine to record the final prompts as well as the Haitian public radio announcement.
Winner of the MIT IDEAS competition, 2010.
PBS · Huffington Post · ReadWriteWeb · Cisco newsroom · Public Radio International's (BBC+NPR) The World · Fast Company followup, Post-launch article on ReadWriteWeb · Konbit on MIT Global Challenge Notebook · Konbit on US/ICOMOS · Miami Herald radio story · JustMeans highlights Konbit · Konbit wins first prize at MIT IDEAS Competition · MIT Technology Review · Fast Company · MIT News - Story 3 · MIT News - Story 2 · MIT News - Story 1