Participate in the first global online hackathon for children to create solutions to the corona pandemic

On 23–25 October, UNICEF Sweden and the Swedish Institute (SI) are organizing Kids Hack the Crisis – the first global digital hackathon for children to participate in the dialogue about the ongoing crisis. Children, mentors and partner organizations are now invited to participate in this unique initiative.
Young boy with a mask

Organized by UNICEF Sweden in collaboration with the Swedish Institute, the mission of Kids Hack the Crisis is to engage and unite children’s voices around the world, to find solutions to the challenges faced by children due to the pandemic. This hackathon is for children, by children and with the children of the world – testing and executing ideas for their future.

In addition to realising children’s right to make their voices heard, the international community will have the opportunity to get to know and learn from children’s experiences and competences as well as to collect and realise the ideas of children and youths all over the world. The hackathon is rooted in the UN Child’s Rights Convention and Agenda 2030 and all solutions will be taking us closer to realizing the rights of every child and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
We now welcome children who want to participate as hackers, as well as mentors and partner organizations from academia and the private and public sectors who want to support this unique initiative in various fields of competence and knowledge.

The Challenge categories

During 48 hours children will work in teams to create solutions to the ongoing crisis. They will address the long and short term effects of the virus on children as well as the consequences for their lives of decisions made to limit the spread of the virus. The challenge categories the children can choose to work with are:

  1. The right to education. How can we, in the COVID-19 era with school closures and lack of access to internet, TV or radio, make sure all children can continue to learn and get the quality education they have the right to?
  2. The right to health. How can we facilitate and support children’s wellbeing; and physical and mental health in this difficult situation and what can be done to help? How can we reimagine a society where all children not only survive, but thrive and reach their full potential?
  3. End poverty. How can we assure children’s right to a fair standard of living and access to essential services when parents are financially and socially vulnerable?
  4. End violence. How can we protect children from physical and psychological violence – in the home, school, community and over Internet – especially in this difficult situation when child protection services are on hold and families are experiencing exacerbated tensions at home due to isolation?
  5. The right to participation. How can we guarantee children’s influence and participation in decisions affecting their lives?

To participate as a hacker

Kids Hack the Crisis is aimed at children and youth all around the world aged between age 10 and 18, with different levels of knowledge and ambition. There are several ways to participate – you can participate without previous experience and on your own terms (no requirement to attend the whole 48 hours). Competing is optional. The global language will be English and it is possible to participate through a mobile phone, tablet or computer.

The winning solutions will be presented to UNICEFs global leadership and will be supported by the organizers and partners of the hackathon, with the clear goal to reach their full potential as tools that will benefit the children of the world.

To participate as partner organizations

Academia, public sector, private sector and other global non-profit organizations all over the world are welcome to support the hackathon with mentors, jury members, communication within your community, software, open data or to help realize the solutions after the hackathon. But of course, we are more than happy to hear your thoughts.

To participate as a mentor

Mentors from various fields are welcome to participate. Subject matter experts, inspiration, Git, Database, frontend, APIs, brainstorming or pitching. Literally anything you can think of that a child at Kids Hack the Crisis could find useful during these 48 hours, techy or not. Some children may be old in the game but many may be in their first-ever hack and just need someone to guide them through the 48-hour journey. You are not required to be available for the entire 48 hours, minimum 2 hours.

When is Kids Hack the Crisis?

Kids Hack the Crisis will open on Friday 23 October, with a livestreamed Opening Ceremony at 17.00 CET. At 18.00 CET all teams will start working. The deadline for submitting solutions is on Sunday 25 October. The Prize Ceremony will be livestreamed on Wednesday 28 October at 18.00 CET.

More information is where you find more information on how to join as a hacker, a mentor or a partner organization.
For more information contact:
Project Manager Ann Molin, +46 733 36 89 08
Content Producer Malin Åkerlöf

Welcome to join us 23–25 October for 48 hours of creativeness, in a space where we aim for impact!

What is a hackathon?

A hackathon is an innovation challenge. In a short period of time, often between 24 and 48 hours, participants called “hackers” work in teams on specific challenges. The challenges are formulated (and often shaped into questions) prior to the hackathon.
There are also mentors in many different areas of expertise available to the competing teams. At the end of the hackathon, a jury picks the winners according to a predefined set of criteria.