From November 25 to 27 2016, German-Kenyan Cooperation hosted a hackathon at *iHub Nairobi’s Innovation Hub. The theme of the hackathon was Digital Solutions for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention for Children and Adolescents in Kenya.
72 hours, 11 teams, 50 hackers, 10 mentors, 3 winners! The winning teams generated three innovative and local solutions for Kenyan health challenges, each of them aiming to secure a healthy future of children and adolescents in their home country. What did they come up with? An interactive platform, a software-based microfinancing scheme and a reward-system for healthworkers and pregnant women. The hacker teams will pitch their respective ideas to an expert jury during the International German Forum in Berlin in February 2017. The final winners will receive further support to turn their local solution into a real contribution for global health.
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What the hack?
A hackathon is a collaborative computer programming event in which multimedia programs, mobile apps, internet platforms and other software are developed by multidisciplinary teams over the course of several days. The term ‘hackathon’ is a combination of the words ‘hack’ and ‘marathon.’
Every year, many young children in Kenya die after falling ill because they receive medical treatment too late or not at all. Leading causes of death among children under five, such as diarrhoea and pneumonia, can easily be prevented and treated with early and simple interventions at home and in the community. Children and adolescents are also key to an effective response to the growing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as diabetes and asthma, which account for almost 100,000 deaths each year. Not only do a significant number of children and adolescents die from NCDs, but the majority of the behaviours that cause NCDs start during adolescence. Youth are central to the local changes needed for a healthy global future.
The aim of the hackathon is to develop innovative, IT-based solutions to existing problems in the Kenyan health system. We want to harness your expertise in IT, web design, communications and marketing, entrepreneurship, health, and service delivery in the public sector to tackle the local health needs of children and adolescents. The open source solution you create should be accessible to everybody who wants to use it, including health sector institutions.
How will the hackathon work?
- The hackathon will bring together experts from different fields – technology, health, government, communications, marketing, and business – to discuss real-life problems in Kenya.
- Teams of 3-5 people will work alongside mentors to solve practical problems in the Kenyan health sector.
- At the end of the hackathon, three teams will be selected by an interdisciplinary jury to receive further support and mentoring for an additional three months (through February 2017).
- Two representatives from each of the three final teams will be invited to pitch their prototype at the International German Forum (IDF), in Berlin, Germany, on February 21-22, 2017. There, an expert jury will select the winning team.
- The winning team will receive further support and mentoring after February 2017 in order to further develop and implement their digital solution.