Hackathon — Digital GovHack

Advancing the Digital Economy by Leveraging Emerging Technologies

Digital GovHack

Over the years, technology had revolutionized our world and changed our daily lives where everything is connected and accessible with clicks. Either Artificial Intelligence, the Internet Of Things, or Augmented or Virtual reality, are all enhancing the quality of life and making it much easier by putting tools and resources at our fingertips.

Those emerging technologies are also reshaping the government and public services of tomorrow making a shift in the way governments around the world are embracing their mission.

By integrating those emerging technologies, we are highlighting the “GovTech”, a whole-of-government approach to public sector modernization. GovTech emphasizes three aspects of public sector modernization: citizen-centric public services that are universally accessible, a whole-of-government approach to digital government transformation, and simple, efficient, and transparent government systems.

According to the International Telecommunication Union, countries seeking to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the next 10 years are increasingly looking to digital government strategies and technologies to “ transform" themselves and the way they do business, to improve how to operate, how to deliver public services, how to engage stakeholders and how to provide impactful citizen-centric solutions leaving no one behind. This holistic system change may vary in detail from country to country but underpins any successful digital transformation approach.

Needless to mention that the Covid-19 pandemic pushed some countries to start thinking about GovTech and accelerated those who are already into it to adopt more solutions. But it is never enough! Because GovTech is playing a key role in ensuring a better future for us all and emerging technologies are solving the most pressing challenges that governments face.

A recent report from the United Nations on E-Government Global Index EGDI - Global Trends in E-Government 2022, clearly stated that overall progress is being made in e-government development globally but at a slower pace than anticipated. The number of countries providing the online services assessed in the EGDI Survey 2022 has risen by an average of 5 percent since 2020. The number of countries offering services that allow users to apply for social protection programs such as maternity care, child subsidies, pensions, and housing and food allowances has seen the most significant increase (17 percent), which may have occurred in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, 90 percent of the countries in Europe provide e-government services relating to a number of priority areas namely public distance learning support, telehealth services, and online scheduling for vaccinations and other medical tests. Over 70 percent of the countries in Asia and the Americas provide such services, and the corresponding proportions for Africa and Oceania are only 41 and 40 percent, respectively.

The use of those new solutions to modernize the public sector — could be an excellent way to realize the promises of the information era and advance globally the digital economies by leveraging Emerging Technologies.

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What is the Hackathon About?

The Digital Government Authority- DGA and the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum 2023, in collaboration with other stakeholders, are organizing a Global Hackathon to reach the larger innovation community and champions in an attempt to  contribute to building the GovTech of tomorrow and help ensure a better future for us, all in line with the WSIS Action Lines and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The final 4 winners will be announced during the LEAP expo, held in Saudi Arabia from 6-9 February 2023.

4 Challenge Areas

Why should you participate?

Because your idea can make a difference and improve the quality of services provided for citizens.

Because your innovation can leverage the power of emerging technologies to help achieving a sustainable future for all.

Who can apply and how?

The Digital GovHack calls on creators and developers to form age-diverse teams of 2-5 and participate in the virtual hackathon.

Apply if you…

  • …are passionate about technology and innovation for positive and economic/social impact.
  • …would like to realize the promises of the information era and advance globally the digital economies by leveraging emerging technologies.
  • …are in a team of motivated people and you would like to further develop your idea or an existing project.
  • …understand and can create solutions that are intrinsically useful and appealing.

How to apply:

As a team (ideally between 2 to 5 participants; gender balance would be ideal)

NOTE that you can also apply individually (to get matched with an existing team that wishes your support over the course of the Hackathon).

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Hackathon timeline

Winning Prizes

The winning team in each of the 4 challenge areas will be provided with a USD 5,000 cash prize.

Each Winning Team will have access to up to 6 months of mentoring from international experts on GovTech.

Certificates of participation will be issued for all teams who submitted a solution.

A Hacka… what?

A Hackathon is a powerful tool to innovate by bringing together diverse actors who do not usually work together. The format embraces the complexity of challenges, as well as enables the participants to identify practical interventions and approaches to address urgent issues. Moreover, the hackers will be benefiting from the specific know-how and skill sets of experts on the topic.