The hackathon is free for participants why it will seek financial backing from corporate sponsors and rely on goodwill and help from volunteers and other supporting organizations. Sleeping as well as food arrangements will be offered. During the hackathon participants will work actively with a few established Open Source projects that will be presented in advanced.
The first day the participants form groups based on the projects in which they will work in during the 48 hour hackathon. During certain breaks they will be offered to present their work up to that moment in front of Open Source project representatives in order to get feedback and inspire others.
On Sunday afternoon the hackathon will end with a prize ceremony where teams may present their final work for a jury consisting of representatives from the Open Source projects, corporate sponsors and organizers. Categories will consider factors such as innovation, complexity, potential and quality of the contributions and ideas developed.
We encourage you to stay in the building during all 48 hours but you might as well leave during the night and return in the morning. Since the time is limited, every hour is important!
Humanitarian and development aid is about helping people suffering from both short-term and long-term problems. These problems can be natural (e.g. droughts, floods and earthquakes) as well as man-made (e.g. poverty, war and oppression). A recent example of a humanitarian crisis is the refugee situation in Europe and the disorder in Syria and its surrounding region.
For people who want to actively help, there are many organizations that rely on and gladly take in volunteers. For those who want to use their core skills and competencies, there are organizations such as Doctors Without Borders and Engineers Without Borders. The latter recently initiated this Open Source Hackathon.
In Open Source software end users, decision makers, subject matter experts and developers from around the world can work together to create great solutions.
There are a lot of mature Open Source projects out there already in the field of humanitarian and development aid for example: Ushahidi and Sahana in crisis management and information gathering, OpenMRS for medical records, Martus for secure information sharing in places with limited freedom of speech and Mifos X, an open platform for financial inclusion for people in poor areas where financial services such as savings, payments and loans are not offered.
Knowledge and awareness of these projects and the potential of Open Source software as a tool in humanitarian and development aid, however, is very limited. To address this issue on a local level, we created OpenHack.