We know that applying to our Hackathon can be a daunting experience, especially if you’re new to it. That’s why we’ve put together some frequently asked questions to help you understand what we mean by a prototype, who can apply, what kind of team you need and what civil tech solutions we can support. Check them out below!
1) What is a civic tech solution?
Civic tech is a relatively recent concept, that’s why it does not have a universally accepted definition yet. For the purpose of this Hackathon, we define a civic tech solution as an IT product for social good / impact that has all of the following characteristics:
- it addresses a societal challenge;
- it is a not-for-profit product;
- it is designed for and mainly used by citizens and/or civil society (in our case, in at least one EaP country);
- it requires coding;
- it has a strong ‘user-system’ interaction.
2) The Hackathon guidelines say I can apply with an idea of a civic tech solution, but I have already started developing it. May I still apply?
Our 2024 EaP Civic Tech Hackathon is focused on supporting activists in launching new civic tech solutions. If your IT solution has not been released / made available to users by the Hackathon dates, you may apply with it.
3) I am hesitant to register for the Hackathon because my English is far from perfect.
No stress, the Hackathon is not an English language test, so you do not need to worry about making mistakes. Most of our mentors and us (the organisers) speak 2+ languages and are happy to help when needed. And while the Hackathon and Ideathon opening, first and final pitches, workshops and webinars are held in English, you may decide within your team and mentors what language you will use for your internal communication.
4) What is the EaP Civic Tech Ideathon? Do I have to participate in it?
The EaP Civic Tech Ideathon is a part of the 2024 EaP Civic Tech Hackathon designed to help preselected civil society activists – authors of the ideas of digital solutions shortlisted for the 2024 Hackathon to improve and further develop their proposed civic tech ideas. The Ideathon is held online on 1-16 December 2023. Up to 25 shortlisted civil society activists who applied until 13 November will be invited to the Ideathon. They will present their ideas to the Ideathon mentors and organisers, discuss them with the mentors at individual consultations and pitch [hopefully] improved ideas on the last days of the Ideathon. Based on those pitches, the Ideathon mentors and the organisers will select up to 15 solutions for participation in the 2024 EaP Civic Tech Hackathon in Chisinau, Moldova. Participation in the Ideathon is obligatory only for the authors of the proposed civic tech solutions; if you apply with a team, your team members (developers and designers) are encouraged, but not required to join you during the Ideathon.
5) I want to apply for the Hackathon, but I am a Ukrainian citizen based in Ukraine and potentially subject to conscription. Will the Hackathon organisers facilitate the permission to travel abroad?
Upon request, the Hackathon organisers (the EU-funded Eastern Partnership Civil Society Facility project) will issue an invitation to all selected participants of the Hackathon, regardless of the gender, age, nationality, or country of residence. However, the participants are fully responsible for getting a permission to travel for the Hackathon, either from the national authorities or their employers.
6) I am a member of an initiative, and we have an idea of a civic tech solution to submit for the Hackathon. There are six of us working on the idea, and we want to apply as a team, but the Guidelines and the application form say that only three people can participate. Why?
To make the Hackathon productive and result-oriented, we have limited it to a maximum of 15 teams and 50 persons. Thus, when applying as a team, you can propose maximum three team members: yourself as the author of the idea and the subject-matter expert (so called product owner), and up to two technical experts (developers and/or designers) who will be working on design and the code of your civic tech solution prototype during the Hackathon in Chisinau.
7) I am an UI/UX designer (developer), and I am interested to join the hackathon. How do I know what team I will work with?
It’s mostly your choice! We will start the Hackathon with the authors (and team members, if they have any) presenting their civic tech ideas. Then our Hackathon coordinator will facilitate the team building process using a speed-dating approach: you will be able to ask questions to the authors whose ideas you liked and quickly decide what team you want to work with. Our Hackathon Coordinator will be around to help you, if needed.
8) I work in IT, but I am not a developer or web/graphic designer. May I still register for the Hackathon as an IT professional to help other teams?
Yes, you may submit your application. Pease, keep in mind that the teams will be working on civic tech prototypes at the Hackathon in Chisinau, and considering we can host only 50 participants, we will be prioritising the applicants with hard skills in software development and graphic / web design.
9) I am very new to the profession (still learning) and have little experience, but I am eager to help other teams with their projects. May I still apply?
Definitely! The Hackathon is a good opportunity to get new connections and experience, and to try out your skills. There is no requirement to present a ready-to-go prototype for your team’s final pitch, just enough to prove the proposed IT product is technically feasible and give an idea how it will work. And the best part: many of our mentors are/were developers and/or designers, and [still] have those hard skills!
10) Why do I need to give my current town and country of residence in the application?
As said in the Guidelines, we will cover the travel expenses of all selected Hackathon participants based outside of Chisinau, i.e. a return trip between the address in an EU Member State or an EaP country specified in the application and Chisinau, and their accommodation during the Hackathon. Getting this information in advance will help us plan our Hackathon logistics.
11) What ideas of civic solutions can participate in the Hackathon and compete for the Award?
First of all, please check p. ‘Eligibility of the ideas of digital solutions’ of the Hackathon Guidelines. In general, our Hackathon is focused on enhancing existing prototypes of civic tech solutions that address societal challenges in the EaP countries. So, your solution is expected to fall within one or several of the categories presented in the graph below: