The World Bank Zimbabwe office is hosting its first hackathon to address challenges in water and sanitation services (WSS) delivery in the country. The hackathon will bring together practitioners, community members, and programmers in a 48-hour marathon to develop technical solutions that could improve water and sanitation services for Zimbabwe’s consumers.
The objective of this event is to raise awareness and showcase the potential of local developers to craft innovative technical solutions and applications for addressing the challenges of water and sanitation service delivery in Zimbabwe. The event is expected to link various stakeholders, including the government, academia and software developers, private sector and financiers, citizens associations and civil society who normally may not have a close interaction on these issues. The hackathon will showcase the potential of the knowledge economy as a driver of growth and jobs in Zimbabwe.
The event will also include the first-of-its kind Dragon’s Den format, where all finalists will present their product or prototype to a group of judges who are experienced venture capitalists. Each finalist will have a maximum of 10 minutes to present their product/prototype, followed by five minutes of questions from the Dragons. It will take place at the Harare Institute of Technology over two days, 26-27 February 2016. The public are invited to attend and observe innovation at work, and to follow online using #ZIMWATERHACK
Top five benefits of the Water and Sanitation Hackathon:
- Bridge various sectors and connect the government and technology communities around a shared challenge
- Encourages a distinct culture of open collaboration and bringing together stakeholders who typically would not have an opportunity to engage within their respective professions
- Create a platform for the public and citizen engagement that allows people to share feedback and ideas on issues that affect their communities
- Assists in removing subjectivity from solutions that are ultimately designed by demonstrating what the community really wants and needs.
- This hackathon is not all work no play; contrary to the culture of all work, this is one of the few events that strongly couple and encourage both work and play
The Water and Sanitation Hackathon will have five objectives:
- Raising the visibility of technology as an enabler and catalyst in solving some of Zimbabwe’s water and sanitation challenges
- Promoting collaboration between innovators and actors in the water and sanitation sector
- Development of new applications to help improve service delivery in the water and sanitation sector
- Creating links between innovators, end-users of the applications and investors and/or donors
- Showcasing the potential of the knowledge economy in Zimbabwe