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Makespace 2.0 – Hackathon by Population Services International Pakistan & National Incubation Center, Karachi

After the success of the first iteration of the Makespace Hackathon, Population Services International, Pakistan and National Incubation Center, Karachi are returning with an improved version that follows a similar format but with greater opportunities for participants to create solutions capable of great impact for themselves and their target market.

Population Services International, Pakistan (PSI Pakistan):

As a market facilitator, PSI Pakistan has employed several strategies such as market development approach assessments and consumer journey mapping to develop unique, innovative and sustainable solutions for populations to cater to their reproductive healthcare needs. These solutions include an increased focus on young populations and methodologies such as human-centered design, “business-in-a-box” and service delivery at the client’s doorstep. PSI Pakistan has also partnered with local non-governmental organizations, such as Greenstar Social Marketing, with expertise in social marketing and community mobilization domains to fully address their clients’ needs.

National Incubation Center, Karachi (NIC Karachi):

National Incubation Center Karachi is an Ignite-funded and LMKT-operated facility created to serve as a catalyst for Sindh and Pakistan’s economic development. Housed in Karachi’s NED University Campus, National Incubation Karachi is part of the Ministry of IT & Telecom’s National Incubation Center Program. Under the Program’s publicprivate partnerships, a string of incubation centers was established across Pakistan in a bid to promote youth-led entrepreneurship in the country. The facility, which is supported by HBL, PTCL, PPAF, Founder Institute and i2i, started operations in May, 2018, and has since inducted 196 startups into its Hatchery and Accelerator programs. NIC Karachi incubates tech and tech-enabled startups from a variety of industries, including, education, agriculture, commerce, waste disposal and robotics. The Center offers various programs and opportunities to empower talented entrepreneurs and promising startups from the Sindh region with quality incubation programs; access to mentor and investor networks; and technical resources to help create high growth and sustainable businesses.

Hackathon

A hackathon (also known as hack day or Hackfest) is a design sprit-like event in which domain experts, and others collaborate intensively towards developing an intervention for a specific cause. The purpose of a hackathon is to work together on a collaborative project. As most hackathons are competitions where several teams are competing to create prototypes that innovate on a theme or improve upon an existing situation. During Hackathon, participants work rapidly to achieve their task, as the events generally only last for limited hours.

 

Why Hackathon on Family Planning

PSI Pakistan with years of experience in family planning sector across the world and in Pakistan, envisions to hold first hackathon focused on family planning (FP), titled as “Make Space” which will be held on 24th to 26th June 2022 (online) and 30th June 2022 (in-person). Make Space hackathon will be an event that will empower developers, designers, and entrepreneurs to meet and work together with the objective to find and build solutions for specific problem statements related to family planning. The major objective of the Hackathon focusing on FP is to develop and further implement innovative intervention ideas to contribute to FP indicators of Pakistan. Additionally, these interventions will result in improved FP uptake across Pakistan, once implemented.

Family Planning/Birth Spacing:

Family planning/birth spacing refer to the choice which allows individuals to decide when to have children. It includes information and services related to contraceptives and other FP services for individuals who are ready to have children. The right to decide the number, spacing and timing of children has great impact on the life of a woman. UNFPA recognizes that through family planning services/reliable supply of contraceptives, infant mortality and maternal deaths can be reduced; it provides opportunities for economic growth, prevents teenage pregnancies, reduces poverty and empowers women to make informed decisions about their FP journey. There are health risks associated both with pregnancies placed closely together and those placed far apart, but the majority of health risks are associated with births that occur too close together. The WHO recommends 24 months between pregnancies. The global public health burden of short inter-pregnancy intervals is substantial. Family planning can help increase inter-pregnancy interval. Recommendations for birth spacing made by international organizations are based on information that was available several years ago. While publications by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other international organizations recommend waiting at least 2–3 years between pregnancies to reduce infant and child mortality, and also to benefit maternal health. Studies supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have suggested that longer birth spacing, 3–5 years, might be more advantageous. Country and regional programmes have requested that WHO clarify the significance of the USAID-supported studies.

Makespace 2.0:

PSI Pakistan in partnership with NIC Karachi will be executing a 48-hour long virtual hackathon known as Makespace 2.0 based on the themes of family planning/birth spacing. This iteration of the hackathon will focus on engaging young people on creating exclusively tech-based solutions for Pakistan’s population crisis. In a span of 48-hours, participants will be tasked with ideating, prototyping and presenting solution that addresses key issues linked to an increasing population. The following are specific areas of focus to be chosen by the participating teams; • Normalize it! Family planning and birth spacing aren’t taboo topics. • Essential conversations before marriage. Pre-marital counseling saves families. • Google or a qualified teacher? Who should teach your child about SRH? • Grow her earnings, not her belly. Give her the freedom to choose when to have children. The top 10 – 15 teams will be chosen to participate in the finale where they will be tasked with pitching to experts from both the family planning and tech spaces. The winning team will receive Rs. 1,000,000 as prize money along with the opportunity to receive mentorship from the PSI Pakistan’s global network and sector experts. The 2nd and 3rd place teams will receive Rs. 100,000 each

Make Space Flow

The phases involved in this 48-hour long Make Space Hackathon that is scheduled for (24th to 26th June 2022) includes:

Phase 1 (Hackathon Launch):

Hackathon briefing that will include opening notes by PSI Pakistan & NICK starting from sharing of 48 hours plan with the participants in detail and sharing of hackathon toolkit with proper guidelines for teams.

Phase 2 (Hackathon Proceedings):

48 hours long team competition begins where teams will work on their product and have drop-in office hours.

Phase 3 (Hackathon Pitches):

Participants to submit their ideas (business plan, marketing strategy & technical proposal) around one of hackathon problem statements which will be reviewed by a panel of experts from FP and Tech sector

Phase 4 (Hackathon Finale)

On 30th June 2022, shortlisted team will submit their end idea of business plan, marketing strategy & technical proposal towards the end of hackathon which will be judged by a panel of experts from FP and Tech sector in NICK campus (inperson).

Hackathon Checklist:

  1. Team Registration: NIC Karachi will open applications and market the hackathon online and offline to the general public as well as selected institutions and organizations. Participants will have to register as teams through the online application

  2. Problem Statement Selection: Each team will be tasked with picking a single focus whilst registering for the hackathon.

  3. Experts: Subject matter experts from the domains of birth spacing, technology and business development will be identified and on-boarded to provide participants thematic and technical training before the commencement of the hackathon.

  4. Competition Platforms: Zoom will be used as the main session/event virtual platform whilst Discord will be the primary communication channel for participants and the organizers.

  5. Evaluation criteria: PSI Pakistan & NIC Karachi will establish evaluation criteria to select the top 10-15 teams of the hackathon. The criteria will be dependent on the quality of submissions within the 48 hours of the hackathon.