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Hackers to tap IT innovations in sanitation


02 December 2012

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IT professionals begin a cross-continental virtual brainstorming session to look for sanitation solutions.

Thousands of young IT professionals, experts and university students alike, involved themselves in an intensive brainstorming and programming marathon beginning today.

The two-day Sanitation Hakathon, the first of its kind, is being simultaneously held in  Pakistan, Indonesia, South Africa, Senegal, Peru, Philippines, Tanzania, India, Finland, UK, United States and North America.

The event intends to lay out innovative IT applications to tackle poverty in Bangladesh as part of a Sanitation Hakathon (www.hackathonbd.com).

The Sanitation Hakathon follows a the culmination of the Water Hakathon. This is the second edition of latter Hakathon.

This intensive coding marathon seeks to find innovative IT solutions to development problems. The World Bank with many other partners and stakeholders initiated this process and organized the first-ever Water Hackathon in October 2011.

In Bangladesh, Secretary for the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology and National Project Director of A2I Programme of the Prime Minister's Office M. Nazrul Islam Khan formally inaugurated the programme.

The inaugural session was also addressed by Christine Kimes, Operation Adviser, World Bank, Mark Ellery, Regional Sanitation Specialist and Mirva Moilalen, Communication Specialist of the Water and Sanitation Programme (WSP) of the World Bank.

Mr. Khan in his speech called upon the hackers to use their knowledge for the development of the country.

Sponsored by the World Bank in Bangladesh, the Sanitation Hakathon is also supported by Banglalion, as the Connectivity Partner, Bkash, Radio Foorti and various others.

The overall goal of the Sanitation Hakathon is to form a network of IT professionals and a community for future collaboration for addressing the challenges in the sanitation sector.

The Sanitation Hakathon consists of four phases including (1) developing country-specific problem statements through a collaboration among sanitation professions, local governments, and community members, (2) engaging a network of partners in the technical and sanitation communities to develop solutions, (3) using those solutions to develop new applications and (4) scaling up and deploying solutions in target communities.

Innovative IT solution would contribute to address the lack of access to basic sanitation by 2.6 billion people in the world, which results in the death of approximately 4,000 children a day and billions of dollars in economic losses.

Using new technology like data maps, mobile games, SMS services, crowd sourcing and opening up data could provide possible answers to solve various problems related to development.

Also read: Mobile-based sanitation monitoring

 
 
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