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Organization(s) sponsoring the project:
The World Bank, USAID, FLOW, LIME, Development Bank of Jamaica, Jamaica National Building Society, Microsoft Jamaica
Created By:hhwang1No presence information
Published:7/2/2012 11:52 AM
Primary Contact:
Fabio Pittaluga,, 202-458-9367
Project dates:
2012 - present
Project Stage:Ongoing activities
Geographic Coveraget:National
Interventions:Access to Finance; Business Environment or Business Regulations; Entrepreneurship or Business Development Services; Skills and Training
Target Population:Entrepreneurs and SMEs; Self-employed; Unemployed; Youth
Digital Jam 2.0
Impact of project:
Impact evaluation in progress
Project Description:

Digital Jam 2.0 seeks solutions to high youth unemployment Jamaica via new opportunities in the global virtual economy (microwork and e-lancing) and the booming "app economy". Today, the global virtual marketplace allows people to find employment and/or start up businesses irrespective of location. Furthermore, microwork provides employment opportunities to people with low skills, improving their overall IT knowledge and further employability.

Digital Jam 2.0 took place from June 28-30, 2012 in Jamaica with the participation of about 2000 young Jamaicans in:

- an app contest to which 250 young software developers participated submitting 60 apps;
- “Become a microworker” workshops for experiential learning on microwork platforms guided by mentors;
- training sessions on mobile phone software development for non-technical specialists;
- a market place/jobfair with 40 national and international companies;
- presentations by industry leaders in microwork, e-lancing, app development companies and start-ups financiers;
- panels of young Jamaicans who successfully used the internet to find employment and/or develop a business.
- a hackathon to resolve issues in the Sports industry with 200 participants

The co-sponsors each have contributed between $20k and $30k, provided prizes for the competition, connectivity at the event, live streaming etc. However, all see Digital Jam 2.0 as a beginning of a longer term partnership to create jobs and/or facilitate business development opportunities for young Jamaicans.  The event was organized in less than 3 months.

Why this project is a Good Practice example:
The labor market in Jamaica is changing dramatically and traditional sectors will not be able to offer employment to the 30% unemployed youth that account for a significant portion of the population.
Digital Jam 2.0 demonstrated that the World Bank can have a major impact in convening partners from private sector, donor community, civil society and academia to find solutions– especially in a situation as in Jamaica – where the country cannot borrow from multilateral banks due to severe macroeconomic constraints.
Digital Jam 2.0 has so far produced the following results:
-3,353 Jamaican youths (as of Sept. 10, 2012) working on the Microworkers and MobileWorks platform with both participating companies to intensify presence in Jamaica with a target of 50,000 users in the next three years;
-the opening of a funding window for start-up companies coming out of the app competition from the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce;
-the launch of a guarantee fund by the Development Bank of Jamaica for up to JM$20mill for young start-up companies in the app economy;
-Commercial development of winners of the app contest;
-8 internships for young Jamaicans at leading telecommunication companies in Jamaica and the Caribbean;
-2 full MA fellowships at Howard University in DC offered to app competition winners;
-winning apps showcased at Jamaica House at the London Olympics in August 2012;
-an agreement with University of Technology for incubating app development start ups in collaboration with their Technology Incubation Center.
Impact Evaluation:
Digital Jam 2.0 because of its nature does not lend itself to a standard impact evaluation. However, these are some indicators to measure success:
-opening of a funding window for start-up companies coming out of the app competition by Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce;
-launch of a guarantee fund by the Development Bank of Jamaica for young start-ups in the app economy;
-8 internships for app winners at leading telecommunication companies in the Caribbean;
-2  MA fellowships at Howard University (USA) to app competition winners;
-winning apps showcased at Jamaica House at the London Olympics in August 2012;
-agreement with University of Technology for incubating app development start ups in collaboration with their Technology Incubation Center;
-MobileWorks to support the development of microwork applications;
-EFO with USAID for pilot project todigitalize Government records and employ 3000 youths;
-requests from Development Bank of Jamaica, Grace Kennedy Financial Group, Jamaica National Building Society, Microsoft for proposals to support the incubation of youth-ledapp development companies, facilitation of payment to microworkers via mobile-banking solutions, digitalization of government records for employment generation.
-Minister of Industry and Commerce brought 3 of the app competition teams into Parliament during budget discussions to underscore the importance of the agenda put forth by Digital Jam 2.0;
-From 2000 to 70,000 people per week reached via Facebook;
-18,600,000 sites mentioning Digital Jam 2.0 on Google.
It is too early to determine what impact Digital Jam 2.0 will have on direct employment of young Jamaicans using microwork and e-lancing platforms. However, we are partnering with the companies that participated in the event to monitor the volume of Jamaican users over the coming months.
Lessons Learned:
Digital Jam 2.0 brought to Jamaica some of the industry leaders in microwork, e-lancing and app development, as well as 500Startups - one of the most important start-up financiers from the Silicon Valley.

Digital Jam 2.0 received strong endorsement from the Government of Jamaica at the highest level, including the Minister of Youth and Culture, the Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, and the Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, universities and civil society organizations.

Digital Jam 2.0 provides an innovative approach to:
-respond to client demands with concrete solutions in a difficult macro-economic environment where Government has virtually no fiscal space;
-use the convening power of the World Bank to bring to Jamaica industry leaders from overseas and facilitating conversations between international investors, national financial groups, and diaspora angel investors;
-significant increase in the visibility of the World Bank in Jamaica and the broader Caribbean region by convening government entities, national and international private sector companies, sponsors and a significant number of young Jamaicans;
-demonstrate that that World Bank can deliver quick results via non-lending instruments in a very short period of time by leveraging and catalyzing resources from different stakeholders;
-demonstrate in concrete terms the meaning of a shift from a lending institution to a knowledge bank, and provide a methodology for implementing this transition in a way that is replicable elsewhere and in other sectors;
-use innovative ways to reach out via "viral online marketing" techniques and social networks.
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Owen says
Great event , I learnt a lot and looking forward to other events like this in Jamaica.
 on  9/8/2012 4:47:28 AM  
Cleon Barrett says
A great initiative & investment in/for our country for the further development of the youth of our nation. This initiative should be continued as a means of harnessing and equipping individuals with trending world class skills in a technologically evolving world; in an effort to achieve great exploits which may span globally.
 on  9/7/2012 3:01:50 PM  
Mark Scott says
One of the most relevant projects indentifying viable prospects and helping young talents expose their creativity. Hope to see this annually.
 on  9/6/2012 6:28:39 PM  
Gerry says
One of the most satisfying projects I have ever worked on. Seeing the targeted beneficiaries respond and embrace the opportunity was just priceless. Specific solutions with national impact also emerged before the end of the event.
 on  9/6/2012 3:40:00 PM  
Ingrid Riley says
Awesome idea. Digital Skills+Opportunities = growth and prosperity for young people and the communities they live in.
 on  9/6/2012 2:51:07 PM  
Mike Robinson says
Great idea. Good for our youth and our country! It unearthed much hidden talent and created some good teams. Keep it going!!
 on  9/6/2012 12:19:42 PM  
Daniele Calabrese says
This was great work!!!
 on  9/6/2012 11:40:44 AM  
Penelope says
Congratulations, a fantastic innovation!
 on  9/6/2012 10:29:19 AM  
Peter says
Excellent Initiative. Expansion to other countries?
 on  8/1/2012 4:55:59 AM  
Marzia says
Great project Fabio!!! Congrats!
 on  7/27/2012 10:52:21 AM  
Ann says
Refreshing to see intervention going beyond the writing of yet another report or household surveys. The impact is direct and tangible.
 on  7/24/2012 9:05:59 AM  
tirax says
ciao fabietto, mi piace e appoggio!!! un abbraccio e a presto
 on  7/23/2012 6:55:50 PM  
Anna Bottiglieri says
There should be more creative projects like this, that go beyond the traditional ways of providing funding.
 on  7/20/2012 9:50:17 AM  
diego says
 on  7/20/2012 2:07:21 AM  

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