2018 EaP Civil Society Hackathon / 1-3 June 2018 / Minsk, Belarus: What it is about and why to participate?

EaP Civil Society Hackathon was launched to support civil society of six Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine – through the development of ICT tools for transparency, accountability, digital participation and improvement of public services. This initiative is funded by the European Union through its Eastern Partnership Civil Society Facility project. Learn more!

If you have some doubts about what hackathon is, here is the simplest way to check – on Wikipedia: “A hackathon … is a design sprint-like event in which computer programmers and others involved in software development, including graphic designers, interface designers, project managers, and others, often including subject-matter-experts, collaborate intensively on software projects…with a goal to create usable software.”

For our EaP Civil Society Hackathon we decided to bring together the IT world and the civil society to work on social ideas through IT solutions. The IT people are pretty sure what they are going to do at the hackathon, but if you a civil society activist check our brief guide on why you need to be there and what you will be doing:

If you are not sure if the EaP Hackathon is for you, here are five reasons why you should participate:

1) Help your community through digital solutions!

EaP Hackathon gives you a chance to implement innovative ideas offering solutions to real social issues in your community, city or region! If you are a civil society activist with a bright idea that can be implemented through IT tools – apply and we will help you to bring your idea into reality. If you are an IT-guy/girl or a web/graphic designer – apply to help civil society activists to make your country a better place for citizens and impact people’s lives.

2) Get new knowledge & support from experienced mentors!

You’ll learn many things: how to create successful Smart City projects and how Smart Budget works; how make open data work for communities and what to do if there are no open data available. You will finally learn what blockchain and human-computer interface is, and much more.

Our mentors from social initiatives, IT and consulting companies will bring a lot of practical cases to share and will help you to improve your projects! Get a chance to learn from experience of Isaac Mao (Musicoin Project, USA), Anton Perkin (FusionWorks, Moldova), Serhiy Loboyko (Center for Innovation Development / Kyiv Participatory Budget, Ukraine) Aleksey Ivankin & Darina Danilenko (Opendatabot, Ukraine), Alina Radacynskaja (Open Data Belarus, Belarus), Gleb Kanunnikau (Functional AI, Belarus), Iryna Velska & Vladimir Ivanov (‘EaP Civil Society Facility’ EU Project). Read more about our mentors.

3) Meet new people, find new friends and have fun!

We will bring together 60 civil society activists, IT professionals and designers from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, – and you will certainly like them! So, this is your chance to find new members for your teams, meet like-minded people and make new friends. You can spend up to 24 hours a day working on your idea with these people, so we are pretty sure you’ll get a lot of fun! So, EaP Hackathon is a right place to build networks, learn from other people and share your own ideas!

4) Enjoy free travels, accommodation and food – all included!

Participation in the Hackathon is free! If your idea is selected for participation in the EaP Hackathon and you live outside of Minsk, we will cover your travel costs and accommodation. Plus, free food and snacks for everyone!

5) Get a chance to win an Award!

After three days of intensive work the teams will present their demo projects, and everyone will vote to select the best ICT tool ideas. Three top-scoring ideas will be nominated for the EU Digitalisation for Civil Society Award and get the opportunity to win funding for full development and launch of the ICT tool. In 2017 it was a participatory urban development platform from Minsk. Try to get it in 2018!

You are about to submit your idea for the EaP Hackathon but still have some questions on how it will work in practice? Here are some of the basic facts to check:

Application process:

If you are a civil society activist – apply with your idea before Monday, 30 April, 2018, 12.00 CET.

If you are an IT professional or a graphic designer – apply before 14 May 2018.

The application is open both to individuals and hack teams. Hack teams may consist of maximum 3 persons, and include at least 1 subject-matter-expert and 1 IT professional / designer.

Read the Guidelines for Applicants before submitting your application and register here!

Content of ideas of ICT Tools:

You can submit an idea of IT-tools and solutions that help civil activists serve needs of communities, and help citizens participate in decision-making, for instance: public monitoring of budget execution, election monitoring, citizens reporting, crime mapping, interactive mapping, citizen journalism, environment monitoring, etc. But it’s to you to decide how it will be implemented technically – as a web-solution, mobile application or a bot. Check our infographics to see what ICT tools are eligible for participation!

On spot in Minsk:

The Hackathon will start on 1 June at 12:30 and will last until 19:00 of 3 June 2018. The Hackathon venue will be open to participants 24 hours. It will be very comfortable to work there: you will get unlimited internet access, working spaces, stationeries, security, lunches & dinners, and tea, coffee and snacks. You may stay overnight at the venue (if you bring your own sleeping bag, of course), but we will arrange and pay for hotel accommodations for all participants outside of Minsk. Be sure to take your own laptop with all software installed!

You will team up with other people to create a hack team of 3-4 persons (a civil society activist with a project idea, 1-2 IT professionals and a web/graphic designer) to work on something really cool and useful for your community.

Demo time:

After these three-days rush your project will be finally ready to be showcased! Hack teams will present their project to participants and mentors of the Hackathon on 3 June, in the afternoon. There is no need to prepare a special presentation. You will need to demonstrate the maximum ready-to-go prototype of your solution and clear vision of how this IT-product will work.

Selection of winners:

The hackathon participants will vote for each IT-tool except of their own and will assess the tools according to 4 criteria: innovation, impact, sustainability and replication potential. Mentors and organisers will count the total scores, and authors of the three top-scoring IT-tools will be invited to apply to the EU-funded project for the financial support for the full-fledge development and launch of the IT-tool.

Check the Hackathon rules and eligibility criteria and read our FAQs in the News section.