Islamabad Civic Hackathon: Building change with code
The second Islamabad Civic Hackathon conducted by Code for Pakistan and Islamabad Civic Innovation Lab (ICIL) concluded on 17th June, Sunday. The main themes for this year’s competition were education, health, sustainable city, social change, and poverty and development. The participants for the event were mentored by experts of technology and business that held knowledge about health, education, and entrepreneurship.
What is the Civic Hackathon?
The Civic Hackathon is an annual two-day competition in which civic minded individuals such as software developers, students, designers, and innovators come together to improve public services through the creation of digital tools and solutions.
The aim of these open-source solutions is to solve social and civic problems faced by the people of Pakistan. The sponsors for the event were Telenor and Arbisoft. Notable partners for the Civic Hackathon were Google Developers Group, Teradata, Invest2Innovate, Microsoft, and The Nest I/O.
Who were the winners?
The panel of judges comprised of Ather Imran – CEO of Sybrid , Mansoor Malik – Chairman of Kamyab Pakistan, Yusuf Hussain – CEO of DM Ventures, and Shabana Atif Khan – CEO of LMKT . The judging panel selected the following winners for the hackathon:
- The first prize went to Dastawezaat, an app to simplify and improve the university application process. The team was rewarded with PKR 75,000/- for the achievement.
- The second prize went to Chote Ustad, an app to connect students with tutors online for improved access to education for all. They were rewarded a prize money of PKR 50,000/-.
- The third position was held by three teams: Bijli Pe Nazar, for data collection of household electricity consumption; Shafaaf Voting, an application for a digital voting process; and Bagh Bagh, a mobile application for gardening. The prize money was PKR 25,000/-.
- The last award, the Audience Favorite award, went to No Food Wasted, an online platform for tackling food waste by feeding the poor.
The winning teams will receive assistance from Global Shapers, The Nest I/O, and Invest2Innovate. They will also be getting access to services and tools from Microsoft and Google.
Experts viewpoint on the Hackathon:
The CEO of Sybrid, Ather Imran commended the efforts of Civic Hackathon:
“Cities and communities develop when its residents participate in its civic development. There could not be a better platform than Code for Pakistan’s Civic Hackathons, which give planners, academics, programmers, developers, designers and public sector representatives the opportunity to collaborate and use technology to develop innovative solutions to civic problems.”
Content Director at C-Design Thinking, Javeria Masood was impressed by the ideas:
“I am always encouraged by platforms that aim to improve existing services by facilitating interaction between different stakeholders. Code for Pakistan has organized this hackathon to resolve civic problems, encourage citizen engagement and use technological tools to envision efficient, supportive and innovative systems. Some of the teams I spoke to have really interesting ideas with lots of potential. It’s also great to see so many people driven to solve city based problems”
In the past, the winners of Civic Hackathons have received quite a lot of limelight. The winners of the 2014 Lahore Civic Hackathon, Savaree, was recently acquired by Careem. On the other hand, the second place holders of the 2014 Peshawar Hackathon received funding from Oasis 500 last year.