This December 1-2, civic technologists will team up with subject matter experts in an intensive marathon to find innovative solutions to challenges facing the sanitation sector. The event, sponsored by the World Bank in partnership with dozens of local and global partners, will take place around the World Toilet Summit (December 3, 2012) simultaneously in several cities around the world.
The Sanitation Hackathon challenges programmers to develop innovative software solutions that address real-world problems in sanitation. During the months leading up to the event, subject matter experts and members of the public will create, submit and vote on problem definitions that highlight specific sanitation challenges that could be mitigated by innovative ICTs. Then, during a weekend-long marathon event, teams of programmers in cities around the world will develop innovative solutions to these problem definitions.
The Sanitation Hackathon emerges out of the recognition that the rapid increase of penetration, awareness and literacy in information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the developing world can transform water and sanitation management. Mobile phones, the Internet and open data are creating new entry points to make sanitation services more transparent, inclusive and participatory while forging new connections between the government, its citizens and the private sector.
Hackathons are increasingly used to pair young technologists with development challenges. In order to bring about new technological innovations in the water and sanitation sector, the World Bank along with its many partners and stakeholders initiated a process that culminated in the first-ever Water Hackathon in October 2011. The event featured nearly 1000 registered hackers at ten locations worldwide who developed some 62 new prototypes. The Sanitation Hackathon builds off of the Water Hackathon’s successful experience of building communities of civic technologists dedicated to innovation in public service delivery.
More information, including preparatory workshops and event dates, is forthcoming.