All systems go for public service hackathon

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The National Public Service Hackathon, which aims to harness innovation and develop technological solutions to improve the delivery of government services, kicks off in Johannesburg on Friday.

The three-day hackathon, which is held in partnership with Geekulcha, at the University of Johannesburg in Auckland Park, will bring together 500 participants from the public and private sector, business representatives, industry experts, academia, government officials and public sector innovation trailblazers.

The Department of Public Service and Administration says the hackathon is a national solution-oriented mechanism that is a culmination of an ongoing innovative project where young innovators and reformers from various sectors are called upon to develop and present innovations and ideas that can assist to address challenges experienced by the government in delivering services.

About 200 young innovators and developers between the ages of 14 and 27 years of age from across the country are expected to participate in the three-day challenge.

The young people at the Hackathon will be given access to vast amounts of data owned by the government, with the hope that they will mine the big data to innovate public service, the department said.

“The young innovators are expected, within 72 hours, to develop innovative solutions around government challenges relating to the improvement of maternal health services, safer homes and schools, Gender-Based Violence victim support and services solutions as well as youth skills and work issues,” the DPSA said on Wednesday.  

The event will also host various exhibitions from government and technology partners, as well as workshops where participants will be educated on the benefits and value of technology.

The hackathon serves as a closing event to the month-long Public Service Month activities that took place across the country under the theme ‘Thuma Mina: Taking Public Service to the People: Batho Pele: We Belong, We Care, We Serve. –