Amplification of Impact Through Virtual Hackathons

A collaborative paper on Capacity Development and Collaboration for Sustainable African Agriculture: Amplification of Impact Through Hackathons; exploring a new model for capacity building using virtual hackathons based on lessons learned from the Kampala INSPIRE Hackathon series, has just been published in Codata open access Data Science Journal.




The paper describes the concept of INSPIRE Kampala virtual hackathons, with the main focus to build and strengthen relationships between several European Union (EU) projects and African communities that started in 2019 with the Nairobi INSPIRE Hackathon in which the GODAN Team participated, and helped mentor and organise.

The main focus of the paper is exploring a new model for capacity building based on virtual hackathons as an excellent opportunity for bringing together people from different work environments, culture and disciplinary backgrounds. This paper is describing experience and lessons learned from the Kampala INSPIRE Hackathon.

INSPIRE Hackathons have evolved over a five year period since it started and during this period a model of fully virtual Hackathons has been developed, which the authors recognise as optimal for Africa. The paper describes all stages of Hackathon building: definition of themes, selection of mentors, development, Webinars as tools for sharing experience, final presentation, selection of winners and awards ceremonies...

The paper also describes the lessons learnt from the winning challenge: Desert Locust Monitoring. The description of all phases of the project demonstrates the Kampala INSPIRE Hackathon approach. On the basis of experience we defined strategy for the future, how to continue and successfully extend such a model in Africa.