ROAC: Resilience Tech Challenge 2022

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Online
Resiliencetech22
Organizer(s)
United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction – Regional Office for the Americas and the Caribbean
Event language(s)
English
Spanish


Defined within the concept note for the VIII Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction of the Americas and the Caribbean 2023: 

Given the cultural, ethnic and social diversity of the Americas and the Caribbean, the relationship between people and technology can be different and often complementary to other types of knowledge. Experience has shown that technological tools have difficulties of assimilation if their developers and managers do not consider the cultural particularities and the visions and knowledge of the communities. In this sense, the promotion of technologies should be presented as a complement to existing knowledge systems and not as an exogenous package that competes with previous "technological frameworks".

The discussion on the development, access and use of technology must also consider the context of inequality and exclusion that prevails in the region, and that has concrete manifestations in the capacities of use and exploitation of technology. The pandemic illustrated the existing digital divide and how millions of people do not have the same opportunities to adapt to virtuality.

These limitations consider the absence of enabling conditions for the access and use of different technologies, such as the resources to purchase computer equipment or, as elementary as the economic solvency to pay the balance of a mobile phone; or have the necessary skills and digital literacy to be able to use and take advantage of these tools. These are a few examples of domestic situations that are repeated throughout the region. These and similar gaps will also be present in aspects more closely linked to disaster risk management activities, especially in rural areas.

ResilienceTech22 seeks to find innovative strategies for early warning systems at the local level that bridge the digital divide through simple solutions considering the limitations described above. 

PURPOSE

The purpose of the competition is to provide young researchers, scientists, academics and technical experts with a platform in which they are encouraged to innovate and collaborate by integrating them into the DRR scientific and technological space in the region. 

Each team will have to present a "product" that attempts to address current gaps in the implementation of technology for disaster risk reduction in the Americas and the Caribbean. This event will also be a precursor to the VIII Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (RP23) of the Americas and the Caribbean. Since RP23 will focus on science and technology, this is an opportunity to foster innovation to solve current problems. Therefore, the winning team will have the opportunity to present their project during the Ignite Session of RP23 in-person.

METHODOLOGY

The competition will be based on the methodology of a hackathon. Hackathons originated as an intense programming tournament and has now been used as a methodology that fosters innovation through collaboration and mentoring. The Hackathon provides the space to develop a ‘product’ by giving teams the tools to achieve the goal of providing a solution to a problem. It is important to note that this competition will not have hacking-related activities. 

During the call, the teams composed of a maximum of 5 members will apply and present their proposal defining their solution aligned with the topics listed. To ensure the success of all teams, they will be provided with a welcome pack that provides technological resources such as database, arcGIS license access, and research to guide teams through ResilienceTech22 themes. 

Over a period of 4 weeks, the teams will be guided by a mentor who will provide them with the necessary support to realize the objective of the competition. They will have the opportunity to network with other specialists through the event network and through question and answer (Q&A) sessions. Through the webinars (Online Dialogues), the discussions will provide insight on current trends and gaps in technology integration and disaster risk reduction in the region.

TOPICS

Teams will consider and include the following topics within the product:

  • Technology for All: How can we increase technological access for EWS?
  • Inclusive risk communication and dissemination at the local level: How can we improve risk communication that is inclusive and disseminated at the local level?
  • Data for decision making: How can we improve data for decision making?
  • Capacity building: How can we increase EWS capacity at the local level?
  •  Hazard mapping: How can we use threat mapping at the local level to support the EWS?
  • Impact-based forecasting: How can we integrate impact-based forecasting at the local level?
  • Multi-threat early warning system: How can we better integrate multi-threat early warning systems at the local level?

These topics will also be addressed in the webinars, in the Q&A sessions and in the additional resources provided through the Welcome Pack.

OBJECTIVES AND RESULT

  • At the end of the four weeks, the various teams will provide a solution, a prototype, a code, a project initiative or methodology that responds to the problem and reduces the technological gap of DRR through the development of a simple technology focused on early warning systems for disaster risk reduction.
  • Young researchers, scientists and technical experts will be able to connect with other professionals in the region, while receiving mentoring and guidance.
  • During the VIII Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, the winners of the first prize will have the opportunity to participate in the RP23 and present their idea and their continuous developments during the Ignite sessions. 

IMPORTANT MILESTONES

  1. October 02: Invitations to institutions to participate in the competition. 
  2. October 10: Call for teams through social networks (Facebook [UNDRR], Twitter, newspapers, PreventionWeb post, email, RP23 website, and partners)
  3. October 26: Deadline for application
    APPLY HERE
  4. October 28: Teams invited to participate in the competition
  5. October 31: Start of the competition
  6. January 06: Announcement of the winners
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