UNICEF will hold a large-scale hackathon on “Innovation for children in urban contexts” under the framework of EXPO-2017


On 18-19 August, UNICEF and the UNICEF Innovation Lab are holding the third hackathon on the topic of “Innovation for Children in the Urban Environment” at Astana EXPO-2017. Organizers invite programmers and software developers from all over Kazakhstan to apply for participation on the website innovationlab.kz by July 15.


The hackathon is a large event, where computer programmers, innovators and software developers will collaborate to find solutions for children living in cities.


Even though cities occupy only 3% of the Earth’s surface, they account for 70% of energy consumption and 75% of toxic emissions into the environment. Children in cities are exposed to additional risks to their health, safety and development due to inadequate access to clean water and sanitation, unsafe transport, inadequate health and education services, poor emergency preparedness, air pollution and unequal access to 21 century skills.


Registration for participation is open until 15 July at innovationlab.kz.  Participating teams will suggest their technology-based solutions to the challenges that children face in cities and present their projects on the first day of the Hackathon.


Hackathon topics are the following:


Lack of access to clean water and sanitation: clean water and sanitation are essential to children’s health and development. One of the Hackathon tasks is to find a solution for a more accessible sanitation and improved quality of water.


Unsafe and inaccessible transport: urban life inevitably means that children will have to use different kinds of transport. Our goal is to provide safety on the roads and transport that will be available for children with special needs.


Lack of health and education services: children across the world and in our country need access to preschool education and good medical services. We aim to make training resources and medical services more accessible for children living in cities.


Poor disaster preparedness and response: a healthy and stable environment are important for children’s health and well-being. However, globally many  cities, especially in ecologically dangerous areas, are not fully prepared to respond to natural disasters.


Air pollution: indoor and outdoor air pollution are extremely dangerous for a child’s health.

In 2012, air pollution became the cause of every eighth death, or seven million people. At the same time, 600,000 of them were children under 5 years old. Recognition and prevention of risks and consequences of indoor and outdoor air pollution is another issue on the agenda.


Unequal access to 21 century skills: the 21st century requires skills like  getting critical and creative thinking, information literacy, initiative, leadership, communication and decision-making skills. Many children do not have opportunities to learn such skills.


More details available on the website: innovationlab.kz.