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Regional Winners of Developing Latin America 2012

Technology for Transparency Network This post is part of the Technology for Transparency Network where we research technology that promotes accountability and transparency worldwide· All Posts

With some delay, here comes an update about the regional hackathon, Desarrollando América Latina 2012 [es] (DAL- Developing Latin America), following the winners at the local level, which completed the final round where awarded on a regional level were chosen among the 22 applications that resulted from the winners of the hackathon in each country.

The organization reported [es]:

Tu Huerta

Tu Huerta

Third place: Your vegetable garden (by RGN) | Uruguay. This application seeks to give an inexperienced person or community the necessary knowledge to create their own orchard and start to plant their own vegetables. The judges considered that the application used open data very well, resolving a specific problem with good development. The project demonstrated a profound and innovative work.

Ideal Factory

Ideal Factory

Second Place: Ideal Factory (by Blackout) | Bolivia. [...] Using records of entities in the chosen area, this application offers imformation similar to that of a FODA [es] analysis (strength, opportunities, weaknesses, threats) from the type of organization that is requested (education, health, police and commerce). [...] it is a tool through which an average citizen can support himself and learn about how to make future decisions not only to start a business or oganization, but also to be better informed about his zone.

For the judges, this application has great value for its scalability in other countries (like Chile and Mexico, among others). It also resolves the problem of duplication of work and promotes synergy and colaborations between different actors, fostering the entrepreneurial climate.

Lima I/O

Lima I/O

First Place: Lima I/O. The city speaks (by #Rememos (#werow) | Peru . The application consists of a system of devices with environmental sensors that are placed in various parts of the city, that send information through the Internet to a cloud platform, categorizing and geo-referencing what is received.

The judges awarded first place to this aplication for being a great and original idea, using innovative tools in order to achieve a real social impact. They hope to see “Lima I/O. The city speaks” completely implemented in the near future, with the support of an environmental organization to help spread the app and monitor the system annexed mechanisms.

There was also an honorable mention: Elbowing Latin America [es], “a platform where organizations and civil society publish projects and needs, exhibiting open data through CKAN and calling those interested in the areas of technology and design to resolve these projects and needs.

The RSS Technology blog summarizes here [es] the winners:

El galardón lo obtuvo la aplicación peruana “Lima i/o”, una solución basada en Internet de las Cosas para monitorear el estado del medio ambiente en tiempo real. El segundo lugar se lo llevó “Ideal Factory” de Bolivia, que entrega información para nuevas empresas u organizaciones, y el tercer puesto lo obtuvo la aplicación “Tu Huerta”, de Uruguay, que ayuda a comenzar a sembrar vegetales en tu hogar, sin necesidad de tener conocimientos previos.

The first place award was attained by the Peruvian application “Lima I/O,” a solution based on the Internet of Things to monitor the state of the environment in real time. Second place was won by “Ideal Factory” from Bolivia, which delivers information for new businesses and organizations, and third place was obtained by the application “Your Orchard,” from Uruguay, which helps start and plant vegetables in one's home, without needing to have previous knowledge.

About the Hackathon itself, Bárbara Blay, from Global Social Stream comments [es] that “the environment of creation and innovation is widespread, not only promoting the creation of applications for the search of a social solution, but also making a regional and connected atmosphere, accessible by the rest of the citizens, and promoting as such the use of technology for development“. She also adds:

Existen muchos puntos comunes en las problématicas que se han identificado para la búsqueda de soluciones como lo son la falta de información sobre los servicios públicos, y las alternativas a esta deficiencia sería la combinación entre facilitar la información a través de las herramientas numéricas y facilitar la participación y elcrowdsourcing para completar esta información.

There are many common points in the issues that have been identified in the search for solutions, like the lack of information about public services, and the alternatives to this deficiency are the combination of facilitating the information through numeric tools and facilitating participation and crowdsourcing to achieve this information.

David Sasaki, one of the judges at the regional level, reflects on the past use of the winning application: “But, will gathering data serve in a Court case when the environmental activists demand of the industrial contaminators? And if not, then why are we gathering the data?” He adds then about the purpose of hackathons like this one:

Bringing together diverse actors — including private sector, public sector, activists and technologists — to make sure that there is a purpose behind the data is the model of the “datapalooza,” which White House CTO Todd Park has been evangelizing for the past couple years. The starting assumption isn’t that there is an app or gadget that can fix complex social problems, but rather that there is value in bringing together diverse actors to contemplate the stories and social issues that lie out of plain sight in large datasets.

However he also has certain objections to the model of hackathons:

The optimist in me hopes that at least two or three of them will have a lifespan of more than a year, but the realist in me knows that this is not likely. I have judged over a dozen app contests and I can’t recall a single winning app that I use today.

Boris Krygel, of InSTEDD iLab, one of the participants (and winner) in Argentina, goes a little further and poses a question [es]:

Qué interesante sería organizar una hackathon en la que se destinara un cierto tiempo a testear los prototipos en el mundo real, ¿verdad? Nuestra experiencia nos demuestra que la mayoría de las aplicaciones que se postulan –al menos a nivel latinoamericano– están planteadas desde el punto de vista del que se propuso resolver una cierta problemática, pero carecen de su correlato empírico desde la óptica de quien será el beneficiario final de dicha app. Recordemos que el objetivo de un hacker es resolver un problema de la mejor manera posible con los recursos con los que cuenta y en el exiguo plazo temporal prefijado, asegurándose de que su prototipo verdaderamente funcione.

How interesting would it be to organize a hackathon in which a certain time was determined to test the prototypes in the real world, right? Our experiences show us that the majority of the applications that are nominated – at least at the Latin American level – come from the point of view of resolving a certain issue, but lack an empirical correlation from the view of who would be the final beneficiary of that said app. We remember that the objective of a hacker is to resolve a problem in the best way possible with the resources available and in a temporary, predetermined term, assuring that the prototype truly works.

In line with this tendency to not remain solely in the hackathon and forget the produced applications, the winners of each country will additionally receive cash as seed capital and a month tutorial to imporove their application. The three regional winners of DAL will also receive as an award the support of Movistar Innova, which consists of a tutorial program that gives feedback about the business possibilities of the aplication and evaluates possible links with this.

Finally, I leave you with the presentation of the winning application on the regional level, Lima I/O [es], in Escuelab [es], moments before winning the local level:

Other related posts:

Developing Latin America 2012
What Exactly is a Hackathon? And What is Open Data?
Hackathons in Droves: How is a Hackathon Organised?
¡Desarrollando América Latina se acerca! 
Brazil: Rio de Janeiro Demands Better Sanitation
Crowdmapping Water Contamination in Peruvian Indigenous Communities
What is Web Mapping?
Desarrollando América Latina #DAL2012 – Día 1 [es]
Desarrollando América Latina #DAL2012 – Día 2 [es]
Day 1 of Developing Latin America 2012
Day 2 of Developing Latin America 2012

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