With: Agha Ali Raza, Bilal Saleem
Baang is a voice-based, telephone-based forum for low-literate users.
Users can post voice messages (baangs) of their own as well as listen to baangs posted by others;
vote these up or down; mark posts as being inappropriate and post voice comments on them.
Baangs can be browsed by popularity, recency or a mixture of the two (i.e. trending posts).
Within three months of its launch Baang has accumulated more than 8,000 posts contributed by
900 users that have been played more than 393,000 times by 1,500 users. Among the most
popular baangs are songs, religious poetry (naat, hamd etc.), quranic recitation, jokes, famous
quotes and users hosting programs as DJs. People generally tend to vote down and report abusive
content and enthusiastically compete for votes. Baang also found a lot of uptake among blind
users. Content posted on baang is regularly monitored by moderators to prevent abuse and
With: Agha Ali Raza, Zain Tariq
Polly is a voice-based, telephone-based service that engages low-literate and non-tech savvy users
in light entertainment and spreads useful development-related information to them as they become
more comfortable with the voice interface. Polly allows users to record a short-message their voice,
to modify it using a choice of funny voice modifications and to optionally send the original or modified
version of the message to their friends. Consequently its use spreads virally among the target
population and results in spreading development-related information to low-literate masses. The
simple entertainment acts as a soft incentive for users to train themselves and overcomes the
scalability hurdle of explicit user training and motivation. It also allows Polly to organically spread
among the population through word of mouth as well as scheduled message deliveries from one
user to another.
With: Agha Ali Raza
Hello-Rozgar is a telephone-based portal for access to employment and skill-training opportunities.
In 2015, Polly was relauched in Pakistan and with a new service: Hello-Rozgar. Employers,
employees, trainers and trainees can register with Hello-Rozgar through its web or IVR interface.
Registered users can post audio job ads; advertise skill training opportunities; listen and apply for
job openings and vocational training vacancies.
The project’s aim was to benefit people from under-served portions of the society (women,
minorities, low-literate and/or belonging to geographically remote areas), by disseminating
information to them about skill-training and employment opportunities; and to further benefit a
subset of them via financial incentives in the form of vouchers for appropriate skill training
Users interact with Hello Rozgar via missed calls i.e. they flash the phone number of Hello
Rozgar and within a few minutes Hello Rozgar calls them back (hence subsidizing their air time
cost). During the interaction it allows users to register themselves as either someone who is
looking for a job (a potential employee), or as a person who wants to advertise job openings (a
potential employer), or as a person looking for skill training opportunities (trainee). Users
register with basic details like name, national ID card number, father’s name, gender, age,
profession/skills of interest, district and tehsil. Once registered, Hello Rozgar matches potential
employers and employees based on profession and location. It then allows potential employees to
apply against job vacancies. The details and of these applicants are then provided to the potential
employers who can now contact them directly. In case of skill training opportunities, Hello
Rozgar maintains a list of vocational training institutes run by TEVTA and PVTC throughout
Pakistan and provides contact details of the relevant and closest training institutes to the users
interested in skill training.
Over the last few months Hello-Rozgar has been called 63,000 times by more than 49,000 users.
Currently, there are 2,600 registered employees, 407 registered trainees and 180 registered
employers. Polly and Hello Rozgar are both currently live in Pakistan.
With: Agha Ali Raza