Harnessing technology for social good

“We are really happy and also lucky to have learnt so much through this competition in terms of technique, business development, knowledge and so much more. We already have a plan for the product and intend to launch it in [the app] store by next January”.

Do Thanh Nam of Team Nobita, was delighted to accept the first prize at the ‘Hackathon for Social Good’ award at ceremony on 24 November 2015 at the Green One UN House.

Highlights

  • Viet Nam has 40 million internet and 22 million smart phone users
  • More than 100 programmers, innovators and social experts took part in the coding competition
  • Two apps are ready for use to involve citizens as problem-solvers

The 48-hour coding competition brought together more than 100 programmers, designers, business developers, innovators and social experts from all over Viet Nam, including some from overseas.

The HATCH! PROGRAM in collaboration with the UN Development Programme (UNDP); British Council; Live & Learn; and the Center for Social Initiatives Promotion (CSIP), organized this competition to provide a platform to find technology solutions for social issues.

Team Nobita consists of two young programmers, Do Thanh Nam and Tran Bac Son. Nam is the former leader of the “Wings of the Dream” volunteer team, which provides support for children living with cancer. Nam and Son developed a new social platform for art and cultural events in Viet Nam that seeks to improve event planning and management as well as making it more convenient for users to find out information about event.

Teams NOTA and GT101 were runners up. NOTA developed a mobile app designed to solve social problems to create a better living environment. The app enables citizens to share public service’s issues and connects them with authorities for improving public services and facilities. Meanwhile GT101 developed an app that makes it easier for people to study Traffic Law.

Nguyen Tai Tue is the leader of Team NOTA. He has been involved in every step of product building and business development. Pham Minh Tien is the main developer of the mobile product and has been in charge of building the app. Meanwhile, Tran Thi Huyen has been in charge of creating the graphic design in the app and its associated website.

“We are very glad that our application could help make a big change in society. We will continue to develop it so that it can help bring more improvements to public services in Viet Nam,” said team NOTA.

Team GT101 are experienced mobile app designers with a strong technical background. Tong Hoang Minh Tien specializes in design and operation, with Do Khac Duy in charge of management and development. Nguyen Ba Phuong connects with social organizations and media.
    
Team GT101 were also pleased to receive their award. “It’s a huge incentive for us to develop our product. We hope that it will reach many more users, and can help improve the traffic situation in Viet Nam”.

At the Award ceremony, Dr Pratibha Mehta, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, applauded the Hackathon teams, Mentors and Jury members for making the competition possible. “Platforms such as the Hackathon provide a great opportunity for us to put good minds together to link up problems with solutions,” said Pratibha Mehta.

“The ‘Hackathon for Social Good’ is a platform that identifies and promotes innovation to address social challenges,” said Mr Pham Quoc Dat, HATCH! PROGRAM Director. “HATCH! PROGRAM, UNDP, British Council and partners will also create an incubation program after the competition to help the team increase social impacts of their projects. With these activities, we hope to create more innovative, competitive and sustainable startups in Viet Nam, espcially those focusing on social impact.  

“Sustainable development goals will not be achieved just by the Government,” Pratibha Mehta noted. “They will be achieved only if people participate, only if people are engaged, only if people have voice. And I think innovations that use technology have such tremendous opportunity here especially in Viet Nam where we have nearly 40 million people who use the internet and almost 22 million have smart phones.”
 
More about the Hackathon for social good:

The Hackathon was launched on 26 September 2015. British Council, Live & Learnt and UNDP challenged the participating teams to come up with innovative products or apps on Creative Economy; Decent work and Economic Growth- Sustainable Development Goals SDG8; Peace and Justice – SDG16; Disaster Risk Prevention and Climate Change – SDG13.

The real competition took place on 24 and 25 October with the participation of 21 teams. Five outstanding teams were chosen after 48-hour coding. The teams had one week to further develop their products for pitching at the HATCH! FAIR2015, which took place on 31 October and 1 November. At the fair, the team presented their products with not only the Jury but also investors, advisors and national and international policy makers.

Apart from being awarded with the prize – USD1000 for the first prize and USD500 for the second prizes-, the winning teams will benefit from an incubation program supported by HATCH! PROGRAM, UNDP, British Council and other partners.

More information?
Watch the Hackathon’s video; UNDP speech’s video
Read the winning teams’ presentations: Nobita, NOTA, GT101
Read HATCH! PROGRAM’S Presentation

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