Research on Business Process Outsourcing

The business process outsourcing (BPO) sector, worth over $130 billion worldwide, provides one of the greatest economic opportunities for wealth generation and employment creation open to a developing country. India, usually the first stop for western companies looking to increase profits by outsourcing some of their business processes, earned some $39.6 billion, employed over 1.5 million people and generated 5.2% of its gross domestic product (GDP) from call centres, back-office operations and software development during the last fiscal year. Kenya is one of many developing countries preparing to enter this vibrant market.

This grant will support the Kenyan government, private sector and civil society in their efforts to make policy decisions and investment choices that will maximize the opportunity and minimize the risk in pursuing a BPO industry. Researchers will carry out detailed case studies of BPO companies and their clients in eight countries: two that outsource work to developing countries; two that have a mature BPO service industry; two that have an emerging BPO service industry; and two that are just starting out (pioneers). They will identify critical success factors and provide guidelines for policymakers and industry practitioners.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Thursday, May 1, 2008

End Date

Thursday, December 24, 2009


18 months

IDRC Officer

Adera, Edith Ofwona

Total funding

CA$ 209,594


Kenya, North of Sahara, South of Sahara, India

Project Leader

Prof. Timothy Waema


University of Nairobi

Institution Country


Institution Website