WASHINGTON, March 22, 2013 –The World Bank today announced the Top 10 Finalists of the Sanitation Hackathon App Challenge, a competition that is surfacing innovative, citizen-designed and technology-enabled solutions to sanitation challenges in the developing world.
“Over 2.5 billion people worldwide lack access to proper sanitation, yet over 1 billion of these people have access to a mobile phone,” said Jae So, manager of the Water and Sanitation Program at the World Bank. “The key is to use rising access to mobile phones and other communications technologies to generate solutions to entrenched challenges such as limited access to toilets, weak supply chains for sanitary products, or limited feedback mechanisms that citizens can use to voice needs and complaints,” she said.
“The Sanitation Hackathon is enabling the World Bank to explore the use of open development processes to improve and strengthen projects all over the world,” said Chris Vein, Chief Innovation Officer for Global Information and Communication Technology Development at the World Bank. “By teaming citizens and technologists with sanitation sector experts, we are coming to solutions the Bank would never have been able to develop on its own,” he said.
The Top 10 Finalists apps, in alphabetical order, are below. Read more detailed profiles here.
· Empowering Girls monitors girls’ school attendance to track appropriate sanitation facilities.
· LION Sync provides decision-makers with access to real-time data online and offline.
· LooRewards promotes sanitary behavior by rewarding safe sanitation practices.
· mSchool monitors the status of water and sanitation infrastructure in schools.
· mSewage crowdsources the identification of open defecation sites and sewage outflows.
· San-Trac reminds users about hygienic practices and gathers real-time data for trend analysis.
· Sanitation Investment Tracker tracks investment and expenditure in sanitation at the household level.
· SunClean teaches sanitary and hygienic behavior through games for children.
· Taarifa enables citizen reporting and tracks decision-makers’ feedback.
· Toilight finds toilets in a smart and easy way.
More information about each app, the teams, and the technology used can be found here. San-Trac also won the People’s Choice Award, which was calculated by Facebook votes and Twitter mentions of the competing teams’ name and the Twitter hashtag #SanHack. The Grand Prize Award winners will be announced on April 19, on the eve of the World Bank’s Spring Meetings.
The Sanitation Hackathon is a project of the World Bank’s Water Practice and ICT Unit, and is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
About the Sanitation Hackathon
The Sanitation Hackathon was organized by the World Bank Group in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Random Hacks of Kindness (RHOK), Eirene, UNICEF, and many other partners at local sites, such as Blackberry, Google Developers, IBM, Infosys, Microsoft, Nokia, Sprint, and Unilever. The Sanitation Hackathon took place in: Atlanta, Cape Town, Dakar, Dar es Salaam, Dhaka, Hartford (CT), Helsinki, Jakarta, Kampala, Lahore, Lima, London, Los Angeles, Manila, Montreal, New York, Philadelphia, Pune, Sacramento, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver, and Washington, DC. Another 28 satellite cities contributed through RHOK, the global and regional partners of which include Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, NASA, HP, the World Bank, and DiUS (Australia).
The World Bank’s Sanitation Hackathon is a yearlong strategic process that to date has involved
· Extensive consultations with communities on sanitation sector needs
· Iteration with subject matter and technology experts to define 134 problem statements
· Two-day hackathon events held simultaneously in 40 cities around the world, with over 1,000 mobile app developers participating, and
· Over 700 concepts identified with 70 teams registering on the Sanitation HackatHome website.
The Sanitation Hackathon follows the model of the Water Hackathon, which was organized by the World Bank Group in 2011, and which involved nearly 1,000 registered IT professionals at 10 global locations in the development of apps for improving delivery of water services.
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