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The BMZ #SmartDevelopmentHack

The corona shock has placed a heavy burden on developing countries causing enormous social and economic consequences.

With the #SmartDevelopmentHack the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) called for innovative digital solutions to tackle the challenges caused by the coronavirus outbreak in low- and middle-income countries. Under the patronage of the BMZ together with “Team Europe” partners from the EU Commission, other EU member states, tech-companies and civil society, we are launching the global hackathon #SmartDevelopmentHack as part of the upcoming German Council Presidency.


We are thrilled! We experienced two exciting hackathon days with you. Inspiring teams, exciting solutions, great commitment and the spirit to make a difference together have made the #SmartDevelopmentHack a unique digital event of international cooperation. Without the many partners and mentors, coaches and supporters, this success would not have been possible. We thank all participants. Especially the many solution providers, the implementation partners and of course all our partners. Thank you!

Drum roll: We now present the winners of the hackathon. For all hackathon teams that were not directly awarded – there will be the chance to present their solutions again in a unique pitch event and thus receive further support. And of course, the platform with over 1000 digital solutions will remain online. It can still be used to learn, connect and exchange.

These are the winning teams:

  • CallVsCorona: Real-time crisis information in Madagascar and beyond
    Region: Madagascar
  • Corona Audio Campaign directed at marginalized population
    Region: Global South
  • Digital Agriculture Africa
    Region: Kenya, Nigeria
  • Digital Enquirer’s Kit 
    Region: Chile, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Thailand, Uganda, Colombia, Brazil, Ghana, Laos, Zambia, Mauritania, Philippines, Peru, Turkey
  • Drone and Data Aid
    Region: Malawi, Rwanda
  • Matchmaking platform for national and private health system in Peru
    Region: Peru
  • Mbaza – AI-based COVID19 chatbot
    Region: Rwanda
  • Mobilizing Rural Women Entrepreneurs for COVID-19 Response and Recovery
    Region: Bangladesh
  • Yoma powered by Atingi – Diamonds in the rough
    Region: Sub-Sahara

Winners: More Information and video pitches

Runner-Ups: More Information and video pitches


The Jury:

  • Koen Doens (Directorate-General “International Cooperation and Development” DEVCO)
  • Tanja Gönner (Member of the Management Board, GIZ)
  • Rahul Mullick (Digital & Supply Chain Lead, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)
  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Hofmann (President, Technical University Munich)
  • Prof. Dr. Joachim Nagel (Member of the Management Board, KfW)
  • Lacina Koné (General Director, Smart Africa)
  • Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti, Secretary-General of the Organisation of Africa, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS)
  • Dr. Maria Flachsbarth (Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development)
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The criteria

  • Strategic significance: Is the proposed project a solution to a relevant problem related to the corona pandemic?
  • Impact: What is the impact of the proposed project?
  • Scaling potential: What is the potential for scaling up the proposed project?
  • Leverage: To what extent does the proposed project build on existing approaches and allow continuity of development efforts?
  • Risk mitigation: Does the proposed project address the main risks and in particular demonstrate a responsible approach to data collection?
The Process
Picture 1/5: Data for Development: Digital data provides critical information to predict pandemic trends and how to better plan and organise the healthcare efforts during the corona pandemic. We want to empower health services and policy-makers to take better, data-based decisions.
Picture 2/5: Good governance & human rights: Information systems are central in the crisis: Citizens and decision-makers need immediate and reliable information for a coordinated response. We are promoting digital solutions in our partner countries to help build information systems for informing citizens as well as monitoring of human rights.
Picture 3/5: Arbeit und Beschäftigung: Die COVID-19-Pandemie hat große Auswirkungen auf Industrien und Volkswirtschaften weltweit. Nachhaltige wirtschaftliche Entwicklung und menschenwürdige Beschäftigung müssen gesichert werden. Wir suchen nach digitalen Technologien, die in der Corona-Krise als Katalysator für Arbeit und Wirtschaft dienen.
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Picture 5/5: Local innovation: We are seeking to find and connect local digital innovators around the world. The promotion of digital solutions with local impact and the promotion of ecosystems can help to better counter the local consequences of the pandemic.


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