Namma Bengaluru Foundation partnered with Indian Institute of Management (IIM) – Bangalore in August 2016 for a Public Policy Hackathon, which was conducted as part of the XI Annual International Conference on Public Policy & Management, hosted by the Centre for Public Policy at IIMB.

What does the hackathon focus on?

The aim of the hackathon was to address public policies, challenges and concerns that affect the day to day life of Indians and identify data-based evidence for social policy reform. The IIM Bangalore Policy Hackathon focuses on using nationally representative datasets to contribute real time solutions of emerging policy challenges facing the nation. The output is in the form of a short white paper that is crystalized during the event covering a) an understanding of the policy problem, b) using data to summarize the problems and study the efficacy of alternative possibilities, c) developing ways by which existing policies need to be adapted or new policies may be needed. Teams are constrained to work on a common dataset but have the freedom to merge this with other open source datasets available online.

What kind of value does the hackathon create?

The key goal of the IIM Bangalore Hackathon is to develop a culture and practice of developing evidence based public policy responses to challenges. Increasing digitization and its public availability implies that many large problems already have solutions “out there”. Harvesting such data however needs a complex set of skills that are truly difficult to find within an organization or disciple. The Hackathon provides an unmatched opportunity to network with and meet some of the most motivated and talented software professionals, social scientists, web/UI designers all in one place! This has been and hopes to be the birth place for high-impact policy solutions that provides a new of using existing technology to drive socio-economic development. This would be a fantastic source of development of ideas and solutions that could revolutionize the way we develop products for not only the bottom-of-the pyramid, but also with each other. Identifying and funding such ventures is a key goal for the IIMB Hackathon as well.

The contest was open to people from all walks of life – social scientists, data scientists, business analysts, software developers, designers, economists, social activists and public policy practitioners. Participants required three key skills – communication, analysis and coding.

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