I lived the spring in Nigeria, interning with an Embassy and the UN. Back then I planned to start my thesis part-time, but the long idle evenings were too attractive, and I ended up just doing three interviews with people working in the grassroots level in Nigeria.
As I didn’t want to take notes but focus my full attention to the interview, I ended up with English audio material of almost three hours. I kept postponing the tedious job of transcribing the interviews week by week, until I figured out that in this world of a global marketplace there must be another way than me spending hours and hours typing the interviews.
After few minutes of googling I found guru.com, self-appointed world’s largest online marketplace for freelancers.
My posting received 36 bids from both Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia. The quotes varied from the Kenyan 200$ to 50$ in U.S. and 6$ in the Philippines. With the minimum payment in 25$, I felt the 6$ was just too little, and ended up choosing Isabel from the Philippines for 16$ for the transcription and proof-reading. For this work of 3-5 hours, I felt it was a bit more fair.
Guru.com has a built-in system to deposit funds before the work starts, but Isabel was so trustworthy that she just sent me the work she had done by email. The transcription was of a much better quality than those that I had been doing myself, and I ended up giving her the rest of my interviews for a total of 42$.
In Philippines almost half of the population lives on a less than two dollars a day, so I guess my forty dollars were a reasonable contribution to her budget.