#Hackathon4Justice is a collaboration between Africa Teen Geeks in South Africa, Facebook and the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Girls Voices partnered in the event in Lagos which was a 24hr hackathon that kicked off 9am on Friday 22nd and finished 3pm on Saturday 23rd March 2019.
Hackathons are a very important piece of our culture of empowering girls and strengthening their voices at Girls Voices; and it’s also a longstanding tradition at FaceBook where engineers stay up all night to create a working product or prototype from scratch. In 2012, Facebook scaled their hackathon program to different regions around the world and brought this tradition to Lagos in partnership with The UNODC and AfricaTeenGeeks on March 22nd and 23rd 2019. Students’ stayed up all night hacking, learning and creating mind blowing solutions.
Mentors from Girls Voices Initiative, Facebook, UNODC, Facebook Developer Circles, African Teen Geeks, and Andela provided support and guidance throughout the event, which was aimed at finding technological solutions to help uphold justice and promote the rule of law. Out of 400 applications from university and school students across Nigeria, 49 university undergraduates’ students from Caleb University, Covenant University, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, University of Lagos, Obafemi Awolowo University, University of Benin, Babcock University, as well as Yaba College of Technology were invited for the hackathon. Teams and mentors have worked hard, some almost without any breaks, to advance projects as far as possible within the 27 hours of the hack. Quite a tight time limit for the teams to code! On 12:30pm of day two, the hacking ended and the teams had some more time to prepare their short presentations (3 minutes each).
The hackathon event was preceded by an iterative process of consultation, definition and refinement. These processes identified significant challenges in the drugs and crime sector judged amenable to technology solutions. They were then reframed in a way that allowed computer programmers— often unfamiliar with the drugs and crime sector—to understand and address them directly, and the response was enthusiastic. The iterative process of defining pressing problems also brought to the surface existing and nascent innovations and young innovators.
Team Athena, the first runner-up of the Hackathon developed a mobile application that allows people to report crime incidents and lay corruption complains with just a few clicks while protecting the identity of whistleblowers and educating people about their rights. They won Oculus Rift virtual reality goggles. The winners of the Nigeria edition of the global #Hackathon4Justice,