Mest-Unicef 2014 Hackathon, a three-day product development competition to find new technologies to serve the hard-to-reach in Ghana begins 15th of January and ends 17th of January with great excitement but few lapses. i will make these article post brief and straight to the point.
Problem statement presented by UNICEF Ghana for the 3 Days Hackathon
- Technology to improve birth registration
- Knowing your rights
- Showcasing the best (and highlighting the worst) Districts in Ghana
- Tracking Child Friendly Schools
- Monitoring sanitation in communities
- Making sure school children get the BEST toilets
- Improving information flow for safe water
- When emergencies strike, quick reporting is needed
In which 25 Teams were formed to Pitch and Provide solutions to the problem statement.
- 7 Teams Chooses to Address the Problem “Technology to improve birth registration”
- 3 Teams Chooses to Address the Problem “Monitoring sanitation in communities”
- 2 Teams Chooses to Address the Problem “Knowing your rights”
- Only 1 Team Choose to Address the Problem “Improving information flow for safe water”
- 4 Teams Chooses to Address the Problem “Tracking Child Friendly Schools”
- 4 Teams Chooses to Address the Problem “When emergencies strike, quick reporting is needed”
- 3 Teams Chooses to Address the Problem “Showcasing the best (and highlighting the worst) Districts in Ghana”
- Only 1 Team Choose to Address the Problem “Making sure school children get the BEST toilets”
Who Wins: List of the Prize Winners
FIRST PRIZE WINNER (GHC5,000): TEAM SIS (Lady-Omega Hammond (Team Lead), Cheryl Dzifa Tetteh, Sherrie Thompson, Gerald Prince Pharin, Ferdinand Badong)
SECOND PRIZE WINNER (GHC2,500): BIRTHWATCH TEAM(Samuel Kweku-Bio Dzidzornu(Team Lead), Masaud Alhassan, Mukaila Hadi)
FIRST PRIZE WINNER (GHC1,000): SKULLCHECK TEAM (Gbeila Aliu Wahab (Team Lead), Francis Kofigah, Alfred Ayi-Bonte)
Congrats to them all, i rejoice with them all cos they really show #VIM during the Pitch. But my question now is;
- Do they truly deserve the prize?
- WAS UNICEF VISION BEHIND THE HACKATTON ACHIEVED?
- IS THIS THE EXACT WAY TO ORGANIZE HACKATTON?
- Can it be Called Hackatton or Brainstorming event?
Ok, let’s go straight to my view towards this MEST – UNICEF 3 days hackatton , and i will be brief. When i published Mest-Unicef Hackathon Day 1: List of Teams, Problems To Address & My Observations on this blog, i tried not to be controversial so as not to affect the vision/reputation of the hackatton. But facts can’t be hidden, OLAMOSH will still say his mind. it’s my blog and am free to publish my thought. Let’s Get Started!!!!
What is Hackathon
According to Wikipedia: A hackathon (also known as a hack day, hackfest or codefest) is an event in which computer programmers and others involved in software development, including graphic designers, interface designers and project managers, collaborate intensively on software projects.Occasionally, there is a hardware component as well. Hackathons typically last between a day and a week. Some hackathons are intended simply for educational or social purposes, although in many cases the goal is to create usable software.
Hackathons tend to have a specific focus, which can include the programming language used, the operating system, an application, an API, or the subject and the demographic group of the programmers. In other cases, there is no restriction on the type of software being created.
Following the above definition, i can easily/loudly voice out that the Unicef-Mest Hackatton Goal is not only to CREATE USABLE SOFTWARE for the problem statement but rather it is on CREATING PROFITABLE BUSINESS ORIENTED SOFTWAREs/SOLUTIONs (Unicef wants solutions that will involve less investment but HUGE PROFIT RETURN ON INVESTMENT on their side)
My Views in Wrap/Brief
- One of the Frequent Question asked by the Judges during the pitch is “Who will Finance the Project/Device?”, “Who are the Partners”?
Participant of hackathon don’t need to know who will finance/sponsor a project, their own main goal is to provide solutions to the problem statement through software development. Checking through my deifinition above “(hackathon is also known as a hack day, hackfest or codefest)”
- The Criteria used in selecting the Winners is not based on Software Development Solution provided towards the Hackatton Problem statement.
TEAM SIS gave a very superb pitch but not the best software solution to the problem statement “Monitoring sanitation in communities” and also comparing TEAM SIS hackathon software solutions to other teams solutions, i can loudly say that “TEAM SIS software solution is not #1”
Take it or you leave it, TEAM SIS wins because their pitch was superb and it’s propose business model towards the problem statement is well tailored for huge ROI (Return on Investment). FINAL!!!!
- The Hackathon Theme: Solving BIG problems using little technology
I will stop my views here
My Advice to The 3 Winners & Others
Kindly try and complete your propose solutions, check on the Business side/model of the solutions and finally contact the Unicef teams for a look and kind approval.
To The Organizers
Big Thumb Up for creating the platform for young programmers in the country to showcase their skills. +OLAMOSH is really proud of them all, am really amazed with what all the teams come up with in just less than 3days. Ghanaians Geeks Need more of this @MEST @Unicef
My Dear Reader