To find innovative solutions to water and sanitation development challenges, the World Bank and the Water and Sanitation Program are reaching out to new, rather unlikely partners. Computer programmers, designers and other information technology specialists were invited by the World Bank and various technology partners to compete for 48 hours in 10 cities around the world this month. Their aim: to create the easily deployable, scalable, and sustainable technological tools that respond to specific water and sanitation challenges in developing countries.
Random Hacks of Kindness
When I try to wrap my head around the role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for development, I usually don't get much further than "blogging" and "text messages." It was therefore enlightening to attend today's World Bank Institute Keys to Innovation Discussion Series on "Developers for Development: Using Open Source Technology in Disaster Response and Beyond." Five presenters from open source organizations introduced their projects. The relevance of those projects is painfully obvious in the aftermath of the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile.
A couple of weeks ago, a few World Bank staff members teamed up with Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, NASA-AMES, disaster relief experts, and the software developer community in Mountain View, California to help find better ways to support disaster relief efforts.
The result, the Random Hacks of Kindness Codejam, brought together about 150 people at the Hacker Dojo, and resulted in some innovative hacks (or solutions to technical problems) that will hopefully shape the way the developer community supports disaster relief efforts going forward.
There has been a lot of coverage of the event already (including a great post on the East Asia & Pacific on the rise blog), so instead of going in to that, here's a quick list of posts and articles about the event that you might want to check out:
- East Asia & Pacific on the rise: Random Hacks of Kindness: software developers create and share code to tackle disaster relief
- Humanitarian FOSS Project: Random Hacks of Kindness
- Emergency Management: Random Hacks of Kindness
- In Case of Emergency Blog: “Random Hacks Of Kindness” Starts Today
- openNASA: Random Hacks of Kindness
- CNET: Hackers Create Tools for Disaster Relief
- CNET Photos: Random Hacks of Kindness
- ESRI at the Random Hacks of Kindness Codejam
- AFCEA: “Random Hacks of Kindness” to Aid Emergency Response
- CMU: Carnegie Mellon Team Wins First Prize at Random Hacks of Kindness