In September, International Alert ran its first international #peacehack series, with hackathons taking place in Barcelona, Beirut, Colombo, London and Washington DC. We're pleased to announce the winners below.
Safegees is a mobile and web application that allows refugees to privately and, in a secure manner, geolocate people in their contact network. The app also gives you 'points of interest' tailored to refugees; these points of interest are provided by (vetted) NGOs working on the ground, who can upload the information through a web form. There is a strong emphasis on ensuring all data is secure. The app needs internet connection for some functions, but once basic information is loaded on your phone, it can also work offline. Organisations could also have access to anonymised data on the movement of users registered in the app as a way of seeing how the flow of refugees is changing on a minute-by-minute basis.
The winners received two all expenses paid tickets to the Build Peace 2016 conference in Zurich.
Joint winners: P2p wiki/Ma3k and StepForward
P2p wiki/Ma3k is a mesh network-powered wiki for refugees to allow them to share important information. The solution would be resilient to 3G network outages (intentional or otherwise).
StepForward is a platform to facilitate increased transparency between NGOs and donors.
The winners received development support with local tech incubators.
Joint winners: Bit Masters, Hexmatter+Rush and Pending
Hexmatter+Rush is an online platform to post public complaints, and ensure these get addressed.
Bit Masters is a platform to connect MPs with causes linked to the society, which will allow people to create causes and tag them along to the responsible ministers and government bodies.
Pending is an app to create a two-way information channel for farmers, where they would be able to communicate and get advice from government bodies like the Ministry of Agriculture on various matters like information about crops, pesticides, etc.
The winners received incubator support from local tech firms.
Joint winners: Hugs not thugs and Commonplace
Hugs not thugs looks at early preventative approaches to countering violent extremism. Users select local community events based on their location or within a specified radius. The events will be community-led and -focused, with a view to growing participation across disparate groups. Users, once authorised, can post and host their own events.
Commonplace aims to help address homegrown alienation. It is a mobile app empowering community organisers and connecting community members. Commonplace uses the snowflake model to help spread the user base and features a Tinder-style interface, complete with sideswiping.
Both solutions would work initially with local NGOs/community groups to grow the idea, build community guidelines and then directly with community members.
The judges felt that by combining the ideas, it would be a stronger application and both teams have agreed to join efforts and carry the idea forward.
The winners received development support from the Technology team at International Alert, and bags full of tech!
Vallation is a tool that uses sentiment analysis across multiple data sources to cross-reference reports of violence. If sentiment is outside ‘normal’ levels, local NGOs/connectors will be notified, to enable counter-narratives to be discussed as well as providing on-the-ground support if appropriate.
The winners received incubator support from Creative Associates International and a chance to embed the solution into a programme.
Here's what some of our participants around the world said about #peacehack:
We had such a great time! When you hack for something you believe in, creativity really goes up!
It was a fantastic experience. I met loads of interesting people, so many different talents, and the room was full of infectious enthusiasm.
I won't ever code the same way again.
Thank you for this event. I could be free with the team to develop an app to create a better world.
The hackathon was great. I've done a couple of other (non-peace) hackathons and it was a lot harder to come up with a good idea at this one. But the talent of the attendees was above the norm too.
Meeting people with the same interests, working on a interesting project ... Applying technology to good causes.
Meeting people who are actually doing something with their lives to help others. The event opened my eyes and took this mentality outside of the actual event and into my life.
And here's what the press have been saying about #peacehack:
- Worldwide #peacehack hackathons use technology to promote peace (Computer Weekly)
- #peacehack winners in London, Beirut, Barcelona and DC hack for peace (Tech City News)
- #peacehack: Can technology stop a bullet? (ShareAmerica)
We would like to thank our partners Build Up, Chayn, Creative Associates International and Internews for their support in running the #peacehack series, and we'd like to thank the venue providers, catering suppliers, mentors, volunteers, designers and developers who all helped make #peacehack 2015 possible.
If you'd like to know more about #peacehack and sign up for regular updates, or if you'd like to get involved in 2016, please complete the form here.