Introduction

Big Ideas, Visionaries, Amateur Forecasters and Computer Developers Welcome at UNDP Climate Information for a Resilient Africa Event

Innovation, out-of-the-box-thinking, big ideas, and smart applications of technology have the potential to significantly impact the way weather information is shared across Africa. And in a world where information is power – and climate change is producing more severe storms and temperature fluctuations that affect vulnerable African communities – access to accurate and timely weather forecasts can work toward reducing poverty, empowering rural communities and saving lives.

With the goal of creating an innovation-driven crowd-sourced space for big thinkers and techno-visionaries to come together, the UNDP’s Programme on Climate Information for Resilient Development in Africa (CIRDA) is inviting developers, mobile application gurus, students and developers to this three-day hackathon and innovations incubator. Participants will arrive on March 15, 2016, with intensive work on March 16-17. A virtual Hackathon will run in parrallel with the event until June 1, 2016.

The Climate Action Hackathon will run in parallel with a multinational UNDP workshop addressing “The Last Mile: Saving lives, improving livelihoods and increasing resiliency with tailored weather information services for a changing climate.”

Participants will have access to leaders in meteorology, technology, sustainable development and communications. They will work individually or in teams to create mobile applications, technology solutions or data-crunching systems that address Africa’s persistent challenges in adapting to climate change, and sharing early warnings and accurate climate information across the continent.

The Climate Action Hackathon Challenge

  • Create prototype mobile and information-system-based applications and technological solutions to share actionable weather and climate information with a variety of stakeholders, sectors and end-users.
  • Connect technology with people to bridge the last mile.
  • Build scalable systems that react to more frequent storms, increase in lightning, erratic weather patterns and long-term climate change.
  • Create technological solutions that are built for Africa and solve local challenges.
  • Design and develop next-generation applications to improve on existing systems and methodologies to use climate information and reach end users.
  • Leverage existing information, networks and human capacity to seed innovation.
  • Communicate existing climate information in an innovative and easy-to-understand manner to catalyze action, improve productivity, save lives and empower end-users

This blog--climateaction.io--will serve as a blog to collect the thinking and methodologies applied by teams taking part in the challenge.

This blog is designed as an open knowledge exchange to share best practices, advance experiences and share new models and technologies developed in the Climate Action Hackathon. Intellectual Property developed during the Hackathon is protected under the IP clauses contained in the Hackathon Terms and Conditions. Contributions are welcome. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the United Nations, including UNDP, or the UN Member States, Stanford University, Columbia University, the Brown Institute for Media Innovation, aWhere, Earth Networks, Geonetcast, the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, Ubimet, or the Zambia Meteorological Department.