AfricaVsVirus was a 72-hour global hackathon hosted by the African Development Bank Group to develop effective solutions for the coronavirus pandemic in Africa. The initiative brought together 25,000 participants from all over Africa to design and prototype tech and non-tech solutions. WAAT was brought in to develop a website, build a system for participant registration and design a communication strategy for the platform, all in just a few weeks time.
With limited time to prepare the digital solutions for the hackathon, we started by identifying the user stories in the brief that could be executed with out of the box tools that required minimal development. After setting up the website, we designed a straightforward registration process wherein participants could register for the challenge through a typeform. Participant’s data was sent to an Airtable database, allowing the challenges to be presented and groups to be formed. We managed communication for the platform through Mailchimp and used Slack for participant communication during the Challenge. We also prepared a mentor website for participants to search for mentors via a user friendly interface.
Due to the fast-paced nature of this project, WAAT’s team met internally and with external stakeholders daily to adjust to the continual changes. Communication took place via WhatsApp and group chats on Slack, and Asana was used as a project management tool.
The AfricaVsVirus Challenge proved a huge success and was the second largest online hackathon in history, with 3,000 ideas submitted by 25,000 participants from all 54 African countries, resulting in 750 solutions being put forward for evaluation. WAAT was able to bring this project to fruition in only 2.5 weeks.