To design social innovation solutions addressing pandemic-related civic space challenges through a regional hackathon.
Activity civic goals
The hackathon approach focused on the intersection of technology and climate change in Iraq, particularly looking at how tech can be leveraged to address issues related to climate change such as water scarcity, heat waves, and food insecurity, in the context of Covid-19 Pandemic.
This event was an opportunity for Iraqi technologists and civil society workers and activists to come together for three days and create tech-based solutions to climate-related challenges. All the participants were provided with the right tools and mentoring from experts in civil society and tech to create innovative solutions for environmental problems in Iraq and increase civil society's capacity to address these problems.
The hackathon began with an introduction from mentors and The Station’s team where they explained the purpose and structure of the hackathon, as well as what kind of projects were expected from participants. It provided an overview of why it was important to consider climate change when looking at development issues: what are some of its effects on our lives, and how can we mitigate them?
Then, the event kicked off with a series of keynote speeches from researchers and experts in the field of climate and civic tech. These talks set the stage for the rest of the event, providing context and inspiration for the addressed challenges.
After the keynote speeches, the participants were divided into teams based on their interests or expertise and then come up with potential project ideas within their group's area(s) of focus (e.g., agriculture, infrastructure).
The mentors gave a presentation on how to create a persona, and how to develop a solution model for their ideas. The teams then had two hours to come up with a project idea and agree on its definition. Each member presented his/her project idea to the whole team, who then voted on which ones would be further developed into prototypes over the next day.
Participants were tasked with brainstorming ideas for projects that could help their communities adapt to climate change and reduce its impact on their lives.
On the second day of the hackathon, the teams began work on their projects. Throughout the day, mentors were available to offer guidance and support to the teams as they worked to bring their ideas to life.
It included presentations on agile management, road map, and budget to help teams develop the skills they needed to manage their projects. Teams were also introduced to the concept of prototyping and how it can be used as a tool for validating their ideas with real users early in the development process. Also, the teams developed implementation plans and discussed how they could be scaled up across Iraq.
On the third day of the hackathon, participants worked on completing their projects, refining them where necessary based on feedback from mentors. It included a presentation on pitching skills, and how to develop a presentation. Participants were then given two hours to complete their presentations.
Eventually, ten teams presented their projects to a panel of judges, and two teams were selected to win the grant. The selection criteria were based on impact, feasibility, originality, and creativity.