We hacked the day away!

    Jesse Bruns

    Last Monday, we organized a social hackathon together with the 'Centrum voor Vormingsonderwijs (Cvv)' and it proved to be successful! We worked in three teams towards the goal of finding new and innovative ways the Cvv could manage its inventory process.

    The Cvv is the facilitating organization for religious and humanistic education for children in public elementary schools in the Netherlands. They facilitate lessons at half of the Dutch public schools (1100) to about half a million elementary school students(!). Each year, the organization invites parents of around half a million students at 2200  schools to express their wish and choice for religious and humanistic education. This is called the inventory process. During the Social Hackathon, three teams tried to find new solutions to the question: 'How can the Cvv facilitate the choice of parents for religious and/or humanistic education in a efficient and effective way and collect, analyse and document the results?'

    The day started with a cup of coffee and an introduction. After this, the teams started working on the issue at hand. Every team consisted of different employees and stakeholders of the Cvv with one or two people of the D4D-team. Team green and red started picking the biggest challenges and to figure out possible solutions for these challenges. Team blue worked the other way around and started to create ideas and linked these as solutions to the the challenges later in the process. After a lunch in the sun, the teams continued working on their ideas towards a proposal to be presented to the jury at the end of the day!

    The jury consisted of Wouter Knoester, initiator of the hackathon and part of PC-GVO and CvV and Gyan Mahadew, Managing Director at Data4Development. They walked around the room during the day, helping teams with answering questions of the teams about the challenge. At the end of the day, the teams presented their ideas to the jury. The red team presented an app in which parents can easily give and change their permission for the lessons. The app was presented through a role-play, in which a researcher interviewed different stakeholders in the inventory process (e.g. parents, school directors and employees of CvV). The green team made a slideshow with H.O.R.B.I.E. as the main character. H.O.R.B.I.E. is a representative of Cvv with no ties to the different departments of religious and humanistic education. This person is responsible for the inventory process and the communication between the different stakeholders. Team blue presented an outline of the process, bringing together the supply of Cvv (teachers and lessons) and the demand of schools and parents (customisation, information and communication). Harmonisation of these two parts increases the efficiency and effectiveness of the process.

    During the presentations it became clear that there were some key similarities between each of the proposals. Even though every team had a complete different story, some points overlapped. This is one of the positive outcomes of the hackathon: Conformity between ideas means clear paths for solving the challenges. Of course there were also a lot of differences, which made it possible for a winner to be announced: Team red! Congratulations to Team Red and Anita, (as D4D representative of Team Red) with winning the hackathon, we enjoyed watching your play and listening to your idea! Also, special thanks to Wieteke for organizing and Anne-Marijke for facilitating the hackathon, you made this day a success!

    Are you or your organization stuck with a challenge yourself and need new insights? Then we are ready to accept your challenge! We can help you with your IT strategy, either by organizing a hackathon or in other ways. Contact us by mailing to info@data4development.nl

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