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The hackathon

This hackathon is organized with the support of Urban Resilience Programme jointly implemented by UNDP, UNICEF, and the Ministry of Local Government Public Works and National Housing. The problem being solved is linked to current economic and environmental shocks and stressors experienced by urban populations in Zimbabwe. This social (non-tech) hackathon is looking for ‘out of the box’ solutions to immediate challenges in the country’s urban areas.

Why Urban Solutions? 

Rapid urbanization is transforming the planet and the way we live: 50% of the population already lives in cities and, by 2050, this figure is expected to reach the 70%. Over 90 percent of that urban growth will occur in cities and towns of the developing world, mostly in Africa and Asia.  The greater concentration of people and assets can amplify the impact of disasters and a changing climate. Today, cities and city inhabitants are facing additional and amplified challenges as a result of rapid urbanization, climate change and political instability. Poorer segments of the economy are particularly vulnerable, living in more hazard-prone areas and lacking essential safety nets to recover from economic or environmental shocks.

While there are challenges to be addressed, there are also critical opportunities to be seized in making growth more sustainable, inclusive and equitable, cities more resilient and their inhabitants less vulnerable. Urban residents in well-planned cities enjoy better access to employment opportunities, healthcare, education and public services compared to their rural counterparts. Well-managed urban areas have lower per capita energy, climate and ecosystem footprints and lower costs per person for infrastructure and basic services. There is a greater concentration of resources, ideas and energy in these urban areas for the creativity and technological innovation needed to solve the many developmental challenges the world faces today.

There exist numerous challenges for urban and peri-urban areas of Zimbabwe: climate change, inadequate provision of basic social services and WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene), lack of employment, illegal settlements, lack of business opportunities, to name a few. However, innovative solutions can be used to address some of these issues in a very efficient and effective manner. Examples from other countries include transforming vacant building in city centres into cultural hubs; cafés and co-working spaces to boost local entrepreneurship and employment; or using bamboo for affordable housing, pedestrian pathways material and wastewater treatment and  innovative solutions for waste management.

Why should you take part in the Hackathon?

Hackathons are a great opportunity for students to get exposure to specific sector problems and develop their business awareness. It is also a chance to showcase ideas and network with experts which can be helpful in future job searches.

AND all members of the winning team, will win some great prizes!

How do I join?

Step 1. First, find your team members: they can be your classmates, or students from different faculties and years of study. Teams should have a minimum of 4 and maximum of 6 members.

Step 2. Register your team online via this google form (the registration process takes approximately 5 min.) : https://forms.gle/K3Pbw5oGZcnGr4nf7

Registration closes on November 5th !

In case there will be more than 8 teams registered, priority will be given to those with team members coming from different study fields, more gender-balanced teams, and those with a strong motivation statement.

Step 3. Come with your team at 8:30am on the event day and be ready to brainstorm We will provide the stationery, but feel free to bring your laptops or other devices if you need to access the internet.

If you have any questions, please  email: cmchavhunduka@yahoo.com


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