The 2023 Civic Tech Acceleration Hackathon was held online on 12 May – 10 June 2023. It was be focused on enhancing existing prototypes of digital solutions designed by civic tech teams from the six Eastern Partnership countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
12 talented teams from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine joined the intensive 4-week programme of our 2023 Hackathon on May 12. They came to the Hackathon with existing prototypes of digital solutions addressing the needs of communities, helping citizens to better hold their governments to account and leading to the improvement of public services in their home countries. They also brought a lot of energy to the process and the desire to make their projects better. The Hackathon partnered the established teams with experienced start-up mentors. In addition, the teams got invaluable hands-on support from 10 individual developers, designers, QA experts and IT project managers who volunteered to dedicate their time and expertise to help the civic tech start-ups.
The journey was not an easy hike: regular sessions with the team’s mentor and progress reporting, additional consultations with other mentors and experts, user interviews, webinars and checkpoint meetings with the Hackathon coordinator, tough deadlines, and hours of coding. But these came together with the new friends and colleagues, Eureka moments and good laugh with like-minded people.
The culmination of this journey took place on June 10, when the teams presented their refined projects to the mentors and judges during the final pitches. The competition was fierce, but six outstanding teams emerged as preselected finalists, and the two received the EU’s 2023 Civil Society Digitalisation Award to bring their civic tech solutions live in early 2024:
Lucius Lex is a notification and search engine designed to make the Moldovan justice system more transparent and digitally accessible. Targeting lawyers, civil society activists and media professionals, it will allow users to search for and follow on the rulings of all levels of courts.
The Lucius Lex solution will consist of two related software products: 1) a search engine for searching within court decisions published on the Moldovan courts’ websites (about 1.5 million, including scanned documents), and 2) a notification system tailored to inform users about newly published cases via email and/or Telegram. This system employs keyword filters, case numbers. The system also provides real-time updates on upcoming court hearings pertinent to the users’ areas of interest via calendar invites.
Red Cap Must Cry Social Mobile Game (Belarus)
Red Cap Must Cry is a mobile game (Android and iOS) that uses augmented reality (AR) and storytelling techniques to immerse the users into the child sexual abuse problem. The game trains users in recognizing and reporting inappropriate behaviour and motivates victims of domestic violence to seek help by providing contacts for communication. The support website summaries the key information and contact details from the game.
Primarily designed for the teenagers aged 12-16 from Belarus, this game is also relevant to the teenagers from other EaP countries. It is already available in Belarusian, English, German and Russian languages, but can be further developed and customised to the needs of communities in any country of the region.