The online Civic Hackathon 2020, organized and presented by Telenor Pakistan, Code for Pakistan, and OPEN Islamabad, was successfully concluded on Sunday. The Civic Hackathon brought together a mix of technologists, designers, urban planners, social scientists, NGOs and CSOs, and government, to approach and solve problems digitally. It was Code for Pakistan’s first ever virtual hackathon organized to solve social and civic problems using technology. Due to COVID-19, the hackathon was presented online, and the theme for this year included edTech, finTech, health, environment, food security and public safety.
During the virtual closing ceremony, Chief Guest Asad Umar, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, shared a special message for the participants, before the winning teams were announced. He congratulated all the participants on being an active part of Pakistan’s progress towards a bright, digital future. He also commended their efforts, while advising them to focus entirely on coming up with original solutions, irrespective of the results of the hackathon, because helping others is the only true reward.
680 applications were received from 90 cities across Pakistan, and some from abroad, as well. The first prize of PKR 300,000 was won by Team Satisfire for their women empowerment project, “Ghirasti” a platform for women to share their skills, gain financial independence and develop a strong social network within their communities. Team BioBeing won the second prize of PKR 200,000 for their mobile application that helps collect waste cooking oil and converts it to biodiesel. The third prize of PKR 100,000 was won by Team Solution Seekers, who developed a mobile application called “Faryad”, that connects its users to NGOs, doctors and hospitals for fundraising for emergencies.
“Telenor Pakistan continues to empower communities and individuals across Pakistan through the power of digital technologies and partnerships. Today’s problems can only be solved by the fresh perspectives of young people with out of the box solutions. This civic hackathon is a step in the right direction and an important investment in the country’s future,” said Khurrum Ashfaque, Chief Operating Officer, Telenor Pakistan. “This collaboration is a shining example of what we can achieve by joining forces with the youth, for a Digital Pakistan,” he added.
Thirty mentors from various fields including education, health, fintech, environmental sustainability, public safety, food security, tech and user experience design, volunteered their time and provided unparalleled advice and guidance to participants and helped them refine their ideas and projects, acting as a guiding light for young minds. They constantly pointed the young participants in the right direction, while equipping them with the tools required to make digital Pakistan a prosperous reality.