“When we support the growth and empowerment of women and girls, we raise the quality of life for everyone. This is because when women lead they not only lead businesses, they lead in their community, they fight for their children, and they give voice to issues that are important to our collective future — like education and health care. Makes sense to me.”

- Tabby Biddle Women's rights, writer, women's leadership coach & executive trainer


INTRODUCTION

Our philosophy

Digital literacy including coding is as important as other kinds of literacy. And whether we like it or not, computer coding is going to be part of everyone’s future.

We need to change our mind-set from the stereotype that only nerdy or geek looking boys are good at coding. Unless we take deliberate steps to teach our young girls how to code even the simplest language, men and boys will continue to dominate the digital literacy domain and coding skills will become another barrier to true gender equality and further widening the pay gap and other issues such as poor representation of women in top positions within the industry.

About DIVATHON

DIVATHON is a non-profit initiative to organise hackathons that are female centric. Developers / Programmers will come together to a two-day hackathon event, where they will come up with solutions to real female problem we are facing in our country and come up workable applications in teams.

What is a Hackathon?

Hacking is an unorthodox way to solve problems; however, it is most often perceived negatively in the public. A hackathon is an event that gathers programmers with different skill sets to “hack”, or work collaboratively, on a software project. For DIV:A, we target female developers / programmers or male developers / programmers who have to involve women in their teams.

What are our visions?

  1. Promote creativity and team working DIVATHON provides a platform for developers / programmers to unleash their creativity and collaboration skills with designers, two vital skills for future learning and career development, through coming up with ideas and building the product collaboratively.
  2. Promote the use of programming to solve real issues Programming is the new literacy. Every industry, from finance to transportation, requires people who know how to program. We then need to make sure that we make use of this literacy to solve the problems we are facing.
  3. Promote the involvement if women in decision making As women, we need to make sure that software solutions that are meant for us, reflect women’s ideas and interest, considering the fact that software is fast becoming global and pervasive.

HACKATHON

Female-centric Hackathon

There is a huge interest among women in programming. DIV:A sees the need for a hackathon and provides an outlet for female developers /programmers to come up with digital solutions to problems that affect us.

We aim to make this experience free and accessible for women. We hope that developers / programmers from all socio-economic backgrounds can come together to enjoy this experience and benefit from the programming experience they earn from the hackathon.

Details of the Hackathon

DIV:A will launch a pilot program, a three-day hackathon, from the 30th of November to the 2nd of December 2018, in Victoria Falls.

We will accept applications from all-female teams or teams that have only one male participant, and all team leaders should be female.

Future Development

After our pilot program in November, we will work with the winning idea on how to fund and put into full production and to the public.

THE PROBLEM WE INTEND TO SOLVE FOR 2018

THE use of unhygienic material in place of sanitary pads by the girl child has become a worrying factor for health experts as well as concerned organisations and individuals.

The cheapest pack of sanitary pads costs more than $1 and some girls are even afraid to ask for money from their parents hence they suffer the pain of womanhood and even miss lessons when on their menstrual periods.

Due to the secrecy surrounding menstruation and the failure by some communities to accept it as a natural biological process, many disadvantaged women and girls end up using unhygienic material which result in vaginal infections like thrush.

There are individuals as well as organisations that have been running “pad-drives” in and around Zimbabwe but they have been facing some logistics challenges that result in some women and girls not receiving sanitary wear meant for them on time and consistently, on a month to month basis. Digital technologies can be utilized to ease the process in order to achieve timely and consistent delivery to the beneficiaries.

OBJECTIVE

To come up with a digital solution that will help ease the process and delivery of sanitary wear from donor to beneficiary.

JUDGING CRITERIA

Digital Tools

The solution must be a digital tool that can be used by anyone who is willing to donate sanitary in and around Zimbabwe. All types of digital technologies are encouraged.

We will be assessing:

  1. The extent to which a solution incorporates digital technologies
  2. Solutions that demonstrate new or adaptive digital approaches to help address the problem
  3. How effectively the digital solution translates information into actionable insights for donors and beneficiaries

Please note:

In this instance, digital tools are described not only as technologies that generate, store, and process information, but also as an enabler for better information sharing that can lead to appropriate action. Digital tools and approaches should not be seen solely as a ‘thing’ but more as a way of ‘doing things’.

This is not an exhaustive list, but provides additional guidance to support your understanding of the breadth of approaches that can be taken:

  1. Technologies may include IoT, AI, machine learning, to name but a few examples
  2. Solutions can be in the form of hardware or software solutions, apps, computing platforms, electronic equipment, digital communications, social networking, interactive voice response, and audio visual material, etc.

Actionable Information

The submission should provide timely, context-appropriate, and actionable advice to users to enable them to select among available best practices in donating and sanitary wear.

We will be assessing:

  1. The effectiveness of the solution in communicating the importance of hygenic sanitary wear for women and girls.
  2. How effectively the solution presents timely, actionable, and context-appropriate insights for donors.
  3. How effectively the solution uses best practice methods, that may include but are not limited to, behavior change communications (BCC) and human-centered design (HCD)
  4. Direct feedback from testing with diverse donors, beneficiaries and any other end-users about whether they can utilize the insights from the solution to make timely, action-oriented decisions.

Please note:

Context-appropriate advice should take into account issues including but not limited to:

  1. The female menstrual cycle
  2. Target beneficiaries, i.e teenage girls within and around remote areas or from any disadvantaged background.

Communication methods may also include:

  1. Reminders
  2. Trusted personal networks
  3. Tapping into existing local, national, or international campaigns

Accessibility

The solutions should demonstrate that there is a clear understanding of end-user needs. which can be effectively met with sufficient flexibility towards ease of use and affordability. Applications should take into consideration different languages, levels of education, digital literacy and connectivity.

We will be assessing:

  1. How clearly an understanding of the specific need at donor level is articulated
  2. The ease of use of the solution/information (through testing)
  3. How accessible the solution is likely to be to its target audience, and for underserved populations (e.g. women/girls, people with disabilities, and other socially relevant groups such as low-income, marginalized ethnicities, and landless or land-poor households), through the applicant’s account of business planning and distribution models
  4. How the solution takes into account variations in digital penetration and digital connectivity and the creativity it deploys to overcome those barriers

Please note:

Participants should consider

  1. Gender disparities in technology access, and access to information and networks.
  2. Obstacles that may inhibit acquisition and use.
  3. Tactics to mitigate any barriers.
  4. How much it will cost customers to buy and maintain it.
  5. Who has the skills and capacity to maintain the solution.

Market Potential

Participants should consider the commercial, sustainability and growth potential of their solution. Sustainability relates to both financial and environmental considerations.

We will be assessing:

  1. How well the solution has been developed in relation to a particular market and how well that particular market and its growth potential is understood
  2. A realistic understanding of solutions that are already out there and how this solution fits into that landscape
  3. Appreciation of the costs associated with the solution and bringing it to market, as well as how they compare to the costs of existing solutions currently available
  4. The development of a sustainable business model that allows for scaling, ongoing product updates and maintenance
  5. Any partnerships or strategies to ensure the affordable and effective transmission of the innovation

Please note:

The business and distribution models should take into account:

  1. How accessible the solution is likely to be, including by underserved populations (e.g. women/girls, people with disabilities, and other socially relevant groups such as low-income, marginalized ethnicities, and landless or land-poor households)
  2. Production values that minimize negative environmental and health impacts

Adherence to Regulations, Privacy and Norms

Applicants will consider international norms with respect to digital development and sanitary wear donations when proposing their innovations.

We will be assessing:

  1. Adherence to any laws in the target country for implementation including, but not limited to, digital tools, customs laws, health, child welfare and / or data protocols
  2. Reference to appropriate practices in importing and transporting sanitary wear.
  3. Incorporation of the Principles for Digital Development
  4. Protection of any personally identifiable information if collected or used
  5. Cultural sensitivities and norms

Please note:

Considerations here include rules, regulations, principles, or norms surrounding:

  1. Digital tools
  2. Data protocols

This is just a guide for some of the aspects of your solution that are affected by regulations, privacy laws and cultural norms. Please be mindful of the areas of consideration for your solution.

RULES

Rule 1:

We require that all applications be done in teams, minimum of 2 members and maximum 4, each team can have, e.g. a developer, a strategist, a designer and an expert in women and girl child affairs.

Rule 2:

Applications from all-female teams or teams that have only one male participants will be accepted. However, ALL Team Leaders MUST be female( The team leader does not have to be a developer/programmer)

Rule 3:

All participants MUST be 18 years old or above

Rule 4:

All participant must have a laptop.

Rule 5:

Though the call is global and solvers can come from all over the world, the solutions will be tested and applied in field contexts in Zimbabwe.

Rule 6:

All entrants need to demonstrate a willingness to share their experiences and learning to help establish a body of knowledge that can bring about a sustained change

Rule 7:

Applicants need to ensure they have the capacity to adapt their existing solution to address the problem, or, to develop a prototype of the solution within the hackathon time frame. Limited support will be provided to help achieve this, but applicants must be able to develop and test prototypes during the hackathon.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

Open to All

We are open for solutions from any individual, groups or organizations; particularly innovators from sub-Saharan Africa. As part of DIV:A’s ongoing commitment to Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, it is a prerequisite that all competing teams include women. This means female representation in all aspects of developing your solution.

Local Applicability

Though the call is global and solvers can come from all over the world, the solutions will be tested and applied in field contexts in Zimbabwe.

Willingness to Share Learning

All participants need to demonstrate a willingness to share their experiences and learning to help establish a body of knowledge that can bring about a sustained change , awareness, and action with respect to digital tools and female health.

Prototyping Skills

Applicants need to ensure they have the capacity to adapt their existing solution to address the problem, or, to develop a prototype of the solution within the hackathon time frame. Limited support will be provided to help achieve this, but applicants must be able to develop and test prototypes during the hackathon.

Intellectual Property

Participants must have rights to all of the intellectual property in the submission. Participants will retain the intellectual property rights to their entry to the prize. Such intellectual property must be clearly marked as proprietary. It is the participant’s responsibility to ensure that they are not infringing on the intellectual property of others.

BLOG

What is DIV:ATHON

DIVATHON is a non-profit initiative to organise hackathons that are female centric. Developers / Programmers will come together to a two-day hackathon event, where they will come up with solutions to the real female problems being experienced in Zimbabwe and come up with workable applications in teams.

Learn more[..]
Benefits of a hackathon

Hackathons are usually proving grounds for new and innovative ideas. They stimulate the problem solving juices of developers unlike their day jobs where it is risky to take chances and fail. Hackathons give them the room to take risks because there is a low cost in failure.

Learn more[..]

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