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International Partnerships
News announcement29 May 2020Directorate-General for International Partnerships

#SmartDevelopmentHack announces nine winning solutions


From a pool of over 1,000 entries, an international jury has chosen the nine winning digital solutions produced by the #SmartDevelopmentHack organised by the European Commission, together with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

These teams put forward creative digital solutions to help tackle the unprecedented consequences of the coronavirus pandemic in developing countries around the globe.In the coming weeks, the winning projects will receive technical and methodological support and, if successful, financial support for the final project concept.

Over 1,000 solutions were submitted and around 300 implementation partners have signed up to implement these solutions in their respective local contexts. From a pre-selection of the 20 best projects, 250 participants from Africa, Latin America, Asia and Europe refined their solutions across three time zones in a purely digital workshop format between the 14-15th of May.

Under the leadership of the Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Dr. Maria Flachsbarth, a high-ranking jury including European Director-General for International Cooperation and Development, Koen Doens, met to select the winning projects and to offer them sustainable financing.

The jury agreed on the following winning solutions:

  • CallVsCorona: Real-time crisis information in Madagascar and beyond (Region: Madagascar)
    The project establishes a hotline to connect the Madagascan government and its people during the COVID-19 crisis. It entails sensitization messages as well as recommendations on infection prevention, symptoms and action in case someone is infected. It moreover strengthens capacity building for health workers providing remote training through interactive voice response push campaigns.
  • Corona Audio Campaign directed at marginalized population (Region: Global South)
    The solution is an open source tool of localized digital audio content and technologies for health education. It provides several innovative solutions to make relevant information accessible to anybody anywhere, for instance using solar powered audio players, mobile web applications and local Wifi hotspots.
  • Digital Agriculture Africa (Region: Kenya, Nigeria)
    The solution will provide a “farm to fork solution”, a digital food security and agriculture supply value chain platform. It promotes zero contact to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by using technology to improve access to food and its distribution. The uber-like digital platform allows delivery riders and drivers to receive requests from consumers who have ordered products to deliver their food items to their doorstep.
  • Digital Enquirer Kit (Region: Brazil, Sri Lanka, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, Syria, Mauretania, Tunisia, Caribbean)
    The Digital Enquirer Kit is a set of mobile online learnings, which provides capacity development for journalists, civil society activists and human rights defenders to identify and navigate misinformation around COVID-19 and to keep themselves and their essential work safe.
  • Drone and Data Aid (Region: Malawi, Rwanda)
    The drone solution ensures an efficient health supply chain in remote areas and moreover maps pre- and post-COVID-19 impacts. The project will establish a “multi-purpose” drone network with local graduates to enter professions such as pilots, project managers and safety and maintenance workers. This solution does not happen in isolation but in an innovative ecosystem with the necessary legal and governmental infrastructure to support it.
  • Matchmaking platform for national and private health system in Peru (Region: Peru)
    The cloud-based matchmaking platform is accessible on every internet-connected device, improving management processes and optimizing logistics in the health care system. It will help the government secure Peruvian citizens’ right to health care and hence plays a vital role in the country’s COVID-19 taskforce.
  • Mbaza – AI-based COVID19 chatbot (Region: Rwanda)
    The solution provides access to valuable COVID-19 information in plain language on any phone at any time and enables feedback connecting people to the authorities. It allows citizens to raise concerns and to provide governments with information on the local situation.
  • Mobilizing Rural Women Entrepreneurs for COVID-19 Response and Recovery (Region: Bangladesh)
    The solution will use existing connections with women entrepreneurs to reach and support the most vulnerable and at-risk groups in these areas. It will hence link with existing resources to build female entrepreneurs’ capacity for service delivery (e.g. home-made masks, disinfectants and soaps) and to integrate them into community-based partnership development.
  • Yoma powered by Atingi – Diamonds in the rough (Region: Sub-Sahara)
    The solution will provide a digital platform for the youth to build their futures by actively engaging in social impact, learning and economic opportunities. The platform creates a marketplace of opportunities for both youth participants who engage in these opportunities as well organisations (social impact, corporate, SMEs, educational institutions, and more).

For the remaining hackathon teams, an event will be hosted after the #SmartDevelopmentHack where they can present their project ideas to an audience of other potential implementing organizations. The goal is therefore to make full use of the potential of all the ideas that were submitted.

Background information

The ideas competition encompasses more than 30 partners as part of “Team Europe”. In addition to the implementing organizations GIZ and KfW, these include development agencies from other EU countries (such as Expertise France, Enabel, LuxDev), tech companies (such as Orange, SAP or Vodafone), international partners (such as Smart Africa, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation or WFP) and start-up networks (such as Make-IT, Afrolynk and i4policy).

The jury was composed of international representatives: Koen Doens (Director-General, Directorate-General International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO)), Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti (Secretary-General of the Organisation of Africa, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS)), Lacina Koné (General Director, Smart Africa), Rahul Mullick (Deputy Director – Digital, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), Prof. Dr. Thomas Hofmann (President, Technical University Munich), Tanja Gönner (Chair of the Management Board, GIZ) and Prof. Dr. Joachim Nagel (Member of the Executive Board, KfW).

The assessment was based on eight criteria: 1. Strategic Relevance (To what extent is the proposed project a solution to a relevant problem related to the coronavirus pandemic?); 2. Impact (How high do you rate the potential impact of the project?); 3. Scalability (How high is the potential for scaling the project?); 4. Compatibility (To what extent does the proposed project build on existing approaches and allow continuity of development efforts?); 5. Risk Mitigation (To what extent does the proposed project address associated risks, especially concerning a responsible approach to data collection?); 6. Cost Effectiveness (How do you assess the cost-benefit-ratio?); 7. Sustainability (How sustainable is the project overall?); 8. Leave No One Behind (To what extent does the project target marginalized groups?). Consideration was also given to regional diversity when selecting the final winners.

For More Information

For more details about the projects, click here.


Publication date
29 May 2020
Directorate-General for International Partnerships