More than 400 participants from all over Ukraine offered effective solutions to battle gender-based violence, from innovative games, to preventing street violence, to chatbots for social media

Illustration: UNDP in Ukraine

Kyiv, 29 November 2021 The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine, UN Women and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), together with national and international partners, have selected the winners of the annual flagship event Hack for Locals 3.0: “Together against violence” which was held online on 26-28 November under the UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme.

The winning projects will receive grant and mentoring support for the launch of the ideas they developed at the hackathon.

More than 400 participants came up with effective solutions for overcoming the problem of violence in Ukraine during the hackathon, which was dedicated to the “16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence” Global Initiative this year. Overall, more than 50 teams joined in the hackathon, of which 35 reached the semi-finals. The proposed solutions and innovations covered a wide range of areas from prevention of various forms of violence in public spaces, providing support to violence survivors online, to interactive solutions that offer game formats to combat violence.

This year, these are the winning teams:

  • First place went to the team “v-checkers”. They presented a project for an innovative entertaining and educational video game “Violence Checker”. The game simulates several situations of how violence occurs in public places. The player witnesses serious violent incidents, and is offered several solutions for resolving the problem, as well as being given explanations about the right and wrong ways to resolve a given situation.
  • The team “Et cetera” was in second place with its project for a fairy-tale-based game called The Step that helps students in the 5th to 9th grades to prevent and resist violence online and offline.
  • Third place was shared by two teams IT-Battalion and Girls_Power. IT-Battalion won third place with its project for a chatbot for the military “App for combating sexual violence” for the most popular social messengers, including Facebook, Instagram and Telegram. It provides anonymous informational, psychological and legal support to violence survivors, incident witnesses and those who are simply trying to understand how to combat violence. The chatbot will be an extension to a bot that is already fully operational on the website: invisiblebattalion.org. Girls_Power shared third place with their project for a gamified online quest “Live without illusion”, the mission of which is to help the characters overcome violence and get out of toxic relationships.

An additional prize from partners Jooble was awarded to the team of the NGO “Girls”, which presented a project for an educational platform called “Healthy_girls” for young people in the TikTok network.

UNDP Resident Representative in Ukraine Dafina Gercheva stressed that in today’s world there must be no place for violence, as all people, without exception, deserve to live in peace, free from fear and want.

“I’d like to thank all of you who have enthusiastically joined in our hackathon,” Gercheva said. “Your ideas will help show someone a pathway out of darkness, giving them hope and chance to live a happy and fulfilling life. The preamble of the United Nations Charter calls on all nations and all people to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours. Your work today will contribute to this vision. Your dedication to this great cause is beyond inspiring, and we at UNDP are very proud to help you in this important endeavour.”

UN Women Ukraine Representative Erika Kvapilova said that millions of women and girls face  various forms of discrimination and violence every day.

“We cannot be indifferent,” Kvapilova said. “We need to act! The Hack for locals 3.0: ‘Together against violence’ provides an excellent opportunity for local civil society organizations and IT specialists from the east of Ukraine to develop innovative solutions to address sexual harassment and other forms of gender-based violence in public spaces. Let’s create together safe cities and safe public spaces for women and girls all over Ukraine.”

UNFPA Representative in Ukraine Jaime Nadal stressed that this year’s event is dedicated to a very important issue – standing together against domestic and gender-based violence.

“It is, in the end, the responsibility of all of us to try to make our homes, our hromadas (communities), safe and conflict-free,” Nadal said. “It’s symbolic and it’s not by coincidence that this year, the hackathon is being held during the 16 days of activism (against gender-based violence), and this is because we know that gender-based violence is one of the most widespread human rights violations in the world. At UNFPA we believe that young people can create bright, innovative and out-of-the-box solutions to tackle this problem.”

You can find more detailed information about the winners here.

Partners

The UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme expresses its sincere gratitude to all partners who helped provide organizational, informational and resource support for the hackathon, namely: the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine, Donetsk and Luhansk oblast state administrations, the European Union Advisory Mission Ukraine, the Ukrainian Foundation of Public Health, the all-Ukrainian public centre “Volunteer”, the Patrol Police of Ukraine, IT companies SoftServe, TECHIIA Holding, Jooble, Intellias, the company Borjomi, Plusone social impact communications agency, the Ukrainian Foundation of Startups, DOU Community of Developers, TechUkraine Platform, IT Ukraine Association, Social Boost, 1991 Mariupol, Code Club UA project, platform of open innovations REACTOR.UA, Kharkiv IT Cluster, DAXX, Radar Tech, Make it in Ukraine, NGO the UN Global Compact in Ukraine, the Ukrainian Women's Foundation, media “Vostochnyi Variant”, media of useful solutions “Rubryka” and the Socio-Political Observer “Trybun.”

Background

Hack for Locals 3.0: “Together against violence” is organised by the Happy Monday career development platform and the Center42 Innovation Agency under the UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme, with financial support from the European Union and the governments of Denmark, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland.

The United Nations Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme (UN RPP) is being implemented by four United Nations agencies: the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).

Twelve international partners support the Programme: The European Union (EU), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, and the governments of Canada, Denmark, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland.

Media enquiries

Yuliia Samus, UNDP Communications Team Leader, yuliia.samus@undp.org

The Hackathon Opening Ceremony

The Hackathon Finale

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