New innovations to improve service delivery

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Over 400 of the brightest and most innovative minds in South Africa converged at the University of Johannesburg to develop technological solutions to improve the delivery of government services.

The three-day National Public Service Hackathon, which ended on Sunday, was business-unusual as the young innovators were given 40 hours to develop innovative solutions to 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.

Public Service and Administration (DPSA) Minister Ayanda Dlodlo opened the Hackathon by learning how to code the welcoming message using C-Sharp computer programming language and she also joined the Hackers for the pitches that took place at midnight on Saturday.

Also present at the Hackathon were DPSA Deputy Minister Chana Pilane-Majake, Communications Deputy Minister Pinky Kekana, as well as Gauteng MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi who joined the participants who had hailed from all over the country and different backgrounds.

The overall winners were Team Guardian who created a solution called Keaphila, a decentralised data storage system based on Blockchain principles, which will enhance the implementation of the NHI Scheme.

The solution allows medical professionals across the board to access a patient’s file remotely.

The runners-up were University of Johannesburg’s TechnoLab team who developed BETA which focuses on empowering young people in South Africa to be able to attain extremely critical and useful skills.

They created an app that uses artificial intelligence to help learners solve Mathematics problems intuitively and easily.

Data Wizzards completed the top three coming up with a solution to digitise the public health system in order to leverage big data and deep learning to deliver enhanced services to citizens.

Dlodlo said all the solutions that were developed over the weekend will be presented to the relevant government departments to encourage them to implement the solutions they deem most viable.

The Minister added that public sector innovation is the new frontier in the march to development and the Ministry is committed to becoming a vehicle for innovation in the public service. –