By Natalie Kostich, MC/MPA 2017
Marta Milkowska, Alex Choi and Laura Oller—current MPA/MBA dual-degree students—have made us very proud. They were one of 19 teams to compete in the preliminary round of the Hult Prize competition at Harvard in December. They designed a unique and important project called Dignify to link refugees to microwork opportunities via a mobile-based platform. As this dream team explained, refugees spend, on average, 6 hours every day waiting in lines. For the top 50 largest camps in the world, that brings us to 4 million total idle hours lost a day. At the same time, more than 1 billion refugees globally have limited access to income opportunities.
Dignify seeks to address these problems by linking refugees to digital microwork via a mobile-based platform. Partnering with established microwork companies like Samasource and development institutions, Dignify will tap into the $450 million digital microwork market, bringing it to the doorsteps of the world’s most vulnerable. The team will launch a pilot project in Hagadera, part of the Daddab complex in Kenya, and expand to the top 50 largest camps in order to impact more than 10 million people by 2022.
Placing 1st out of the 19 teams at the Harvard University competition, the Dignify team has qualified to advance to the Regional Finals in Cambridge, MA, held on March 3rd and 4th, 2017. The Finals will be held in the fall, and the winning team will take away $1M donated by the Hult family to support their project. Marta, Alex and Laura—congratulations on your accomplishments thus far, and we wish you the best of luck at the regional finals next month!
Marta Milkowska and Laura Oller pictured above with the five judges for the Hult Prize @ Harvard Competition on December 10, 2016 at the Harvard Kennedy School.