Transparency International Kenya and Fojo Media institute partnered with five other organizations including: Magamba Network; Africa’s Voices Foundation; Technosol Africa; Innovation for Change (I4C) Africa Hub; and IREX Kenya to have the first ever COVID-19 Virtual Hackathon in Kenya under the Media-Tech Hub from 9th – 13th February 2021.
The main objective for the Hackathon was to engage web-based software developers in further developing the COVID-19 Aid Tracker to enhance data visualisation and track corruption cases on COVID-19.
Five teams of young, energetic and creative techies participated in the Hackathon with each team having three members with a diverse gender representation as all teams had a mixture of male and female participants. The team names were: Robstanne; Masters Of JS; The 3 Musketeers; Kiboko Bytes; and Wakadinali.
The Hackathon took place virtually on different online platforms including: Zoom for online meetings; Slack for Realtime discussions between the participants and organizers; and GitHub to share links to mock-ups by the teams.
A judging panel consisting of software developers from Africa Voices Foundation, Magamba Network, the COVID-19 Aid Tracker developer and project lead from TI-Kenya reviewed the pitching made by the teams and awarded points.
The judges were impressed by the level of competition especially between the top three teams and appreciated that there were new ideas brought up from the teams.
The 3 Musketeers emerged as the winners for the 254 COVID-19 Virtual Hackathon having made a very compelling pitch showcasing data on the COVID-19 Aid Tracker with clear and simplified visualizations.
The mock-up shared by The 3 Musketeers covered all aspects of the Aid Tracker including: Aid tracking with clear categorization between different sources – Non-Governmental Organizations, Private Sector and International Organization; Expenditure Tracking by County and expending bodies; In Kind Support with good illustrations on the different types of support given and the donating bodies.
The Winners will get a Grant worth Two Hundred Thousand Kenya Shillings (Kshs. 200,000) and be part of implementing the winning solution on the COVID-19 Aid Tracker. All participants will also get awards and other great opportunities to be part of social change software developers supporting transparency and accountability initiatives.
“It’s been amazing what other groups have done and I think for us specifically we have learnt a lot…” Dawn Chemoiwa – Kiboko Bytes Team.
Linking Tech to Investigative Journalism
The solutions presented by the developers were some of the best ways to visualise data on the COVID-19 Aid Tracker. The project team will soon hold a 2 -day webinar for investigative Journalists in collaboration with Magamba Network. The main objective will be to engage IJs on Data journalism and give them opportunities to pitch stories from use of the different COVID-19 Data platforms that are currently available and further do investigative pieces on COVID-19 Accountability.
What is next?
After the project team successfully concluded on the National Hackathon, plans are underway to engage the same teams through another challenge, on how to crowd source and present (Figures & Stories) on COVID-19 corruption cases.
Further, in collaboration with Magamba Network under the Media-Tech Hub, we will hold a Regional Hackathon that will focus on further enhancement of data on the FollowCOVIDMoney site https://www.followcovidmoney.com/ with regional data on COVID-19 funds in different countries.
To access the full report on the Hackathon CLICK HERE