2 days Pacific Hackathon Event

The Pacific Hackathon 2 days event was held on the 12th and 13th of April 2022. The opening remarks came from the PICISOC Board Chair Letitia Masaea who remarked “this event is a milestone for PICISOC as it brings a new dynamic and energy to the network. Importantly, it brings together young and innovative technologists from the Pacific Islands interested in solving problems faced by Pacific Islanders.

Ms Letitia Masaea

To our participants, I can assure you that this is a unique experience for you to contribute your skills, talent and creativity to a problem that affects all of us in the Pacific. I am sure you will gain valuable experience, expert advice, new skills, and new friends in the Pacific through this event.”

Executive Director PIANGO, Ms Ilolahia

Executive Director PIANGO, Ms Ilolahia in her opening remarks stated, “I am quite impressed and what has triggered me to jump on board when they (PICISOC and UNDP) invited PIANGO to participate here is the involvement of … our young women…I saw ….. some of our young women, I said Yes! this is it for me because ICT has been for a while in our region a dominated male profession and then we start to see our colleagues from the Solomon Islands who welcomed us to this programme – it is amazing and it is inspiring!”

UNDP Representative, Deputy Resident Representative Ms Yemasrach Workie

UNDP Representative, Deputy Resident Representative Ms Yemasrach Workie in her remarks, thanked PICISOC for reaching out to its regional and global community to come together to help civil society find innovative digital solutions to amplify voices and ensure that no one is left behind.

She further stated that the very sense and objective for this hackathon is inline with UNDP’s digital strategy of 2022-2025 which aims to support countries and communities use digital technologies to get ahead of the ever evolving digital reality to accelerate work towards achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

European Union Ambassador for the Pacific and to Fiji, His Excellency Sujiro Seam

European Union Ambassador for the Pacific and to Fiji, His Excellency Sujiro Seam officially launched the program with his keynote address stating, “It gives me great pleasure to open this first ever hackathon in the Pacific.” His Excellency Sujiro Seam in his opening remarks highlighted that digital transformation is among the top priorities of the European Union worldwide and elaborates on what the European Union try to achieve in this time and age in the Pacific. He closed his address by advising the hackathon participants to “Use technology, keep the human factor at the center but have fun!”

This hybrid event was physically attended by the European Union Ambassador for the Pacific and to Fiji, His Excellency Sujiro Seam, UNDP representative, Deputy Resident Representative Ms Yemasrach Workie, Pacific Islands Association of NGOs (PIANGO) representative, Ms Emeline Siale IIolahia plus Fiji participants at the University of the South Pacific, Japanese ICT Centre, Laucala Campus, Fiji. Other participants attended virtually.

For the remaining of day one and day 2, participants had the opportunity for question and answer session with PIANGO representative who was able to provide detailed responses to help them better understand the problem statement for the hackathon. There were more than 160 participants registered for the event with some teams from Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands and Fiji in the Pacific Islands.

In every Pacific Island event, there is always food around. Participants from the hubs did enjoy their tea breaks and lunch session.

Pacific Hackathon is made possible through the generous funding of the European Union for the UNDP’s Strengthening of Public Finance Management and Governance Project. PICISOC is honored to be a recipient of the PFM project small grant scheme to host this event.

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