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Hackathon

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Diaspora individuals from Haiti, Syria, Sudan, and beyond, humanitarian actors, tech professionals, and people already working with, or interested in working with, diaspora humanitarian actors come together to learn from each other in advancing diaspora humanitarian action. Whether you are looking to up-skill, add to your portfolio, contribute to solving a meaningful issue, or are just interested in networking with other people…come and join us!
#Switchboardhackathon #digitaldiaspora #humanitarianism

About the hackathon

Do you love innovation and challenges?
You think we can do better when responding to humanitarian crises? Then you definitely want to join our hackathon (no hacking experience required!)!
The aim of the Switchboard Hackathon is to generate concepts and designs for a mobile application, to be used by established diaspora humanitarian actors and those with an interest in getting involved in humanitarian action.
There will be up to $10,000 USD in cash prizes for winning teams, as well as additional non-cash prizes such as software licenses and Amazon and Google vouchers.
Whether it is through knowledge exchange, mobilization of resources, philanthropy, volunteering, or communication and technology, diasporas are key humanitarian actors, often among the first respondents in humanitarian crises, complementing and filling in gaps left by institutional humanitarian partners.
With many global crises showing little sign of abating, older generations of diaspora find themselves passing the baton to younger generations (1.5 or 2nd), in order to provide continuity in humanitarian efforts. However, their needs, means of action, and motivations can be different. Younger generations are expressing interest in engaging in and responding to humanitarian crises in their familial countries of heritage on their own terms and with unique perspectives, skills, and approaches.
The Switchboard project, an innovative pilot project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) and implemented by Shabaka, a leading diaspora humanitarian organization based in the United Kingdom, was created to help answering this question: ‘How can we harness the potential of diaspora communities to help together in an organized way, before, during and after a crisis hits their country of origin while also bridging the gap between diaspora generations ?”
It focuses on Haiti, Sudan, and Syria, whose diasporas have been active in mounting a humanitarian response to recurrent crises over generations.
Please read more about the switchboard project here: Switchboard (shabaka.org)

Discover the challenges

Whether it is through knowledge exchange, mobilization of resources, philanthropy, volunteering, or communication and technology, diasporas are key humanitarian actors, often among the first respondents in humanitarian crises, complementing and filling in gaps left by institutional humanitarian partners.
In the framework of the Switchboard project, an innovative pilot project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), Shabaka is organizing its first Hackathon which will address this main question : ‘How can we harness the potential of diaspora communities to help together in an organized way, before, during and after a crisis hits their country of origin while also bridging the gap between diaspora generations ?”
Following a series of consultations with diaspora humanitarian actors, we have identified three challenges to submit to participants.
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Improving communication on the ground with local communities before, during, or after crises

Improving communication on the ground with local communities before, during, or after crises

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Bringing together diaspora and others to collaborate with local communities during a crisis

Bringing together diaspora and others to collaborate with local communities during a crisis

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challenge 3

Supporting diaspora intergenerational engagement in humanitarian action

Program

The Hackathon will take place online over Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 October 2022 with online and offline elements to enable participants to engage from different locations.
Hackathon participants will compete in teams of a maximum of 5 to complete one of three challenges. The teams will be expected to develop solution ideas or concepts on the challenges, among which winning concept(s) will be chosen, by an independent Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) and later developed by a professional app developer.
Three winning teams (as determined by our judges) will receive up to $10 000 and other participants will receive non-cash prizes.
Relevant experts and dedicated mentors will support participants throughout the process.

Dates

Starts Saturday 15 October 2022
Ends Sunday 16 October 2022

Eligibility criteria

While participation from Syrian, Sudanese, and Haitian diaspora is encouraged, participants from all diaspora backgrounds, genders, and geographies are welcome, as are non-diaspora who belong to diaspora organizations or networks. To participate in the hackathon, you must meet the following criteria:
  • Be 18 years or older at the time of the registration
  • Be from diaspora backgrounds (from any country of origin or heritage) OR a non-diaspora who work for, volunteer with, or are member of, diaspora networks or organizations.
  • You do not need to have specific experience in coding or humanitarianism. However, coding and/or humanitarian experiences are welcome.
  • Applications must be individual, but you can indicate on the registration form if you want to apply as part of an existing team or if you want to join one.
  • Hackathon Schedule

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