SmartLabs is now accepting applications from student developers and project managers for our second cohort! The project will begin in September 2013 and run until December 2013, when we plan to have our solution implemented.
Here is a summary of the project:
In partnership with Em[POWER] Energy Group Ltd., SmartLabs will build and implement an integrated software solution for a co-op of people who collect and sell recyclable materials at the Matuail landfill site in Dhaka, Bangladesh, to effectively negotiate moderated fair prices with merchants. The pilot co-op group will include 40-80 ‘feature phone’ users, equipped with an SMS-based application to respond to designated merchant requests for large quantities of specific scrap materials (i.e. glass, plastic, metal). Merchants will have access to an online interface to make requests.
Scavengers at Matuail are underpaid for their work because they are forced into competition, and they lack facilities for sorting materials and managing inventory. Scrap commodities prices (based on demand from large recycling companies) are highly variable and can change hourly. While Em[POWER] will build an on-site sorting and storage facility, SmartLabs will help the co-op use cell phones to ensure they are earning fair prices, and exercize more power in the supply chain through inventory management. SmartLabs and Em[POWER] want to create a way to eventually guarantee at least a dollar a day in wages to the 6000+ scavengers that live and work in the Matuail landfill.