Jazz SDG Hackathon 2018

500+ applicants…
109 selected ….
coached by industry specialists……
proposed solutions for 29 civic problems based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals:

  • SDG Goal 3: Good Health and Well Being
  • SDG Goal 4: Quality Education
  • SDG Goal 5: Gender Equality
  • SDG Goal 9: Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG Goal 11: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

The two and half days’ event, held from 7th to 9th December 2018 at the National Incubation Center, Islamabad is another feather in the cap of Code for Pakistan. The pioneer of Civic Hackathons in Pakistan, Code for Pakistan in partnership with Jazz and Open Islamabad brought together the finest minds from the twin cities. The winners of the event are:

1st Prize: Project Smart Bra for Early Detection of Breast Cancer

Team Vixen developed a prototype i.e. a smart bra which detects the symptoms of breast cancer in early stages. Targeting SDG Goal 3, the team developed a mobile app which receives data from the sensors within the smart bra. In their three minute pitch to the judges, the team showed a demo of the prototype to the judges. The project was well received as every year 40,000 women die of breast cancer. It is a very cost-effective tool for early detection and is affordable with lower household incomes.
Vixen wants to start an awareness session throughout Pakistan in tandem with the complete development of the application in future. Project details and team members information can be found here.

2nd Prize: Liquid Impurity Detector Technology in 7 seconds

Team FIDeTech developed a prototype to detect impurities in water. One of the major issues in Pakistan is contaminated water, so much so that even vegetables are grown in sewage water causing numerous gastric diseases all around Pakistan.
Focusing on SDG 9, sensors are used to detect water contamination levels according to ISO standards and transmit the data to the user using a mobile app prototyped during the hackathon.
Project details and team members information can be found here.

3rd Prize: Dost – Hum Sab Ka

Based on SDG 3, Dost is an AI based project that aims to provide help and build a support community for mental illness. The increasing rate of suicides in young people is alarming so the project aims to understand the feelings of a distressed person and accordingly provide timely support to them.
Project details and team members information can be found here.

Asim Ghaffar, President Code for Pakistan shared his thoughts:

“The idea behind activities such as this Hackathon is to promote a culture of innovation, particularly civic innovation, that is, to solve our own problems as citizens of Pakistan. Although Code for Pakistan has played with various civic themes, for the past couple of years, we have settled for SDGs; those being the common language between diverse communities such as the civic hackers, CSOs, the private sector, and Governments. I am pleased to see that our hackathons are getting more and more traction every year. Each year bigger names like Jazz and Open Islamabad are being added to the sponsors’ list, in turn, bringing in more supporters and above all brilliant hackers.”


Out of the five development goals, most of the projects were centered around SDG 3, 4 and 11. Other projects included RealPharma aimed to eradicate the sales of fake medicines; Jeroty, a project aimed to promote the cottage industry of women entrepreneurs of Gilgit-Baltistan; Smart Bins for efficient garbage collection; Tanawul, a solution to stop food wastage; ForiTaleem, a mobile application to find tutors who do not charge an arm and a leg for helping students Details about all ideas pitched during the event can be found here.

The participants of the Hackathon unanimously appreciated the ambience; the National Incubation Center, Islamabad provides a start-up based environment that nurtures the entrepreneur thinking. The food and the goody bags also nourished their ideas into reality. The participants also appreciated the help provided by the mentors on spot in steering their project in the right direction.

Nearing the end of the Hackathon, the 29 teams pitched their projects. Each team was given three minutes to pitch and two minutes to answer the questions asked by the judges. A workshop was conducted in the morning to help the participants tailor their project descriptions within three minutes of the allotted time. The teams appreciated this workshop of the Hackathon because many of them were fresh graduates and needed help in preparing their pitch.

The details, rules, and information on the judges and mentors can be found here.

Speaking at the end of the event, Ali Naseer the Head of Corporate Affairs, Jazz congratulated the winners and emphasized that

Civic Hackathons are much needed in a country like Pakistan where most of the population is between the ages of 25 to 35 years and people need to solve their own problems as they have the capacity to do so.

Ali Naseer presented the first, second and third prizes to the winners.

Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Hamza Shafqaat also took an active part in the Hackathon, even joining the pre-event – a panel discussion creating awareness around SDGs. He has actively been promoting the Hackathon, calling for registration; he also spoke about the importance of civic participation in such activities through his official twitter account. He appreciated the efforts and the exciting projects presented by the teams and shared some of the administrative issues around Islamabad, encouraging residents to come forward with solutions.

Hackathons are an ideal way to bring together talented individuals, creating synergies between members of the same city/community and solving civic problems. Civic Hackathon 2018 is a reflection of that.