Digital microwork as a livelihood strategy in a Namibian informal settlement

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Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä
Date
2022-01
Major/Subject
Mcode
Degree programme
Language
en
Pages
17
Series
The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries, Volume 88, issue 1
Abstract
Unemployment is a serious issue in many areas of Global South. Over the last years, microwork platforms have started to emerge offering opportunities for earnings and promising improved livelihoods. Although the gig economy facilitated by these platforms has been criticized in the literature, we argue that in the context of informal economy, participation on these platforms does not always worsen the livelihood and thus should be examined. This paper investigates the requirements for using such platforms and assesses their applicability in an informal settlement in Namibia. The Sustainable Livelihoods Approach provides the conceptual framework for the research. We devised a simulation by using design science research methods, where the community members were able to complete digital micro-tasks for monetary compensation. The experiment evoked excitement among participants. This paper argues that the digital micro-tasks have promise for the individuals, and elaborates on human, financial, physical, and social capitals required to use these platforms. Finally, we propose a new way, trained peers called “tech mediators,” that can act as facilitators to make these platforms more available for the communities in Global South in the future.
Description
Publisher Copyright: © 2021 The Authors. The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Keywords
design science, Global South, microwork, sustainable livelihoods approach
Other note
Citation
Keskinen , P , Winschiers-Theophilus , H , Chivuno-Kuria , S , Müller , A & Nieminen , M 2022 , ' Digital microwork as a livelihood strategy in a Namibian informal settlement ' , The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries , vol. 88 , no. 1 , 12197 . https://doi.org/10.1002/isd2.12197