Technology’s fight against GBV

More than 50 software developers participated in the first Gender-based Violence (GBV) Hackathon organised by the NUST Faculty of Computing and Informatics, Namibia Women in Computing Society, Google Developers Group Windhoek and the Office of the First Lady in Windhoek last week.

Hackathons are software development marathons where experts in technology come together to solve real-world problems with innovative solutions. In a 24-hour marathon, the participants were required to create a mobile and web application that will help to combat GBV.

Dr Anicia Peters, the Dean of the Faculty, said the need to fully embrace technology in fighting this scourge, is growing immensely. “We need everybody to be involved in fighting this social challenge. The ICT sector has not been very active in contributing skills and talents to help in this fight, but there is a steady drumbeat of social change happening, thanks to technology,” Peters said.

The GBV experts shared best practices and tested the applications. A team named Amani won the challenge for creating an application with a panic button feature that victims of abuse can use to record, videotape and report their ordeal. The Amani team captain, Beaton Nyamapandi, was excited about his team’s performance. “Technology can be a powerful force that opens exciting opportunities. I hope that our App and other solutions from this hackathon will help civil society and non-profit organisations better achieve their missions and collaborate with other stakeholders,” he said. The winners received prizes that included laptops.

Team Amani will now have the opportunity to present its solutions at the National Information and Communication Conference Summit scheduled for 10 October 2016 in Windhoek. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) will take some solutions further for implementation.

The sponsors of this competition included UNFPA, Standard Bank Namibia, Friedrich Ebert Foundation, National Youth Council of Namibia, Telecom Namibia, Namibia Business Innovation Institute (NBII) and ACM Windhoek Chapter.

Date: 
Friday, October 7, 2016
for Month: 
October, 2016

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