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Hackathon 2.0: ParrotIT wins BudgIT’s Star Prize, whilst AdvoKC and AwaCountry bag the 2nd & 3rd Positions, respectively

October 14, 2021

In case you missed our 10th Anniversary Hackathon, here’s the full gist!

On Wednesday, September 15, our quest to discover the next big civic-tech idea kicked off in earnest when 23 organisations across Nigeria gathered to showcase their civic-tech ideas at our 10th Anniversary Hackathon.

The hackathon hosted over 20 talented social innovators from different parts of the country. These talented individuals presented their ideas to our panel of judges who were eager to know what these young innovators had to offer in creating tech tools that will enhance citizens’ participation in fiscal accountability, good governance and effective service delivery.

While giving his opening speech, Oluseun Onigbinde, our Lead Director and Co-founder, reiterated to the audience what is most important while trying to scale an idea, especially within Nigeria’s civic-tech ecosystem.

“You must never lose your passion and resolve to give that idea all it takes to grow. This might require a lot of effort, including adjusting your business model and exploring various opportunities within the space. It may not happen immediately, but things start to get better if you stay consistent” he added.

Fashola-Oba Asiodolo of ParrotIT emerged as the winner at the 8-hour event, while Abiola Durodola of AdvoKC and Damilola Adeyera emerged as the 1st and 2nd runner ups, respectively. The trio bagged the sums of N500,000, N300,000 and N200,000, respectively. 

There was no denying the value presented by ParrotIT while pitching their idea to our panel of judges. ParrotIT is designed to assist the public in holding political office holders accountable by reporting issues requiring government attention in their locality.

ParrotIT’s goal is to get citizens to focus on their local political officeholders. This will ensure that the closest elected representatives in their community reslove reported issues. We are leveraging technology and social media to solve social issues by creating a platform where citizens can report issues and hold them accountable for issues in their locality at the local level of governance”  He said.

“With ParrotIT, every complaint or issue raised in any community becomes data, tagged to political office holders in the geographical chain (from councillor-president). The tool also allows people to create awareness by sharing their posts on ParrotIT with friends and families on social media platforms, after which they can demand prompt attention from grassroots political reps.” He continued.

Abiola Durodola’s presentation secured the second position for AdvoKC. AdvoKC intends to leverage technology through its Data-Driven promise meters to articulate political promises made during political campaigns. The platform will track campaign promises to update citizens on how well elected officials to carry out their election agenda. Citizens can in turn hold elected officials accountable for their commitments using this information.

“To create its promise meters, such as the Buharimeter, AdvoKC will pore through speech transcripts, TV appearances, position papers and campaign websites looking for promises. We define a promise as a prospective statement of an action or outcome that is verifiable. All of our promises will list the source to ensure credibility.”

AdvoKC also uses the Politifact style of rating on its platform. The promise meters will have six ratings. The first three provide a broad picture of whether the official is making progress, while the final three indicate whether they kept the promise.

Damilola Adeyera’s presentation for AwaCountry focused on onboarding citizens to participate in governance from their comfort zone using a mobile phone to advance democratic and societal growth.

Awacountry is an innovative enterprise of passionate people, simplifying social justice to aid participatory governance and making it accessible to the public. Via its USSD code, Awacountry will make social justice accessible and easy regardless of one’s political, social or ethnic background.”

Among the six finalists were Urban Alert, eWatcher and GraderNG. Others include iWatch, Act Hub Africa, ShareEven. BribeAlert, IdentityAfrica, YLP Nigeria, the Judge Nigeria, Covid Donations Monitors, TANP, Follow The Projects, GNIP, and DPIP Initiative.

Apart from the N500,000 cash prize, the winner (Parrot-IT) will also receive free office space for one year and fundraising, mentorship and networking support from BudgIT.

For the Judges, selecting the best among the ideas that were presented was a tough call. One of the Judges, Femi Taiwo, the Director of Leap Africa, encouraged everyone who participated in the hackathon to focus more on the solutions than the problems. 

“The solutions are more important than the problem itself. Having identified the problem, more focus should be placed on generating solutions to close the gaps between citizens and the government.” He said.

On her part, Oluwatosin Alagbe, the Director of PTCIJ, urged the new breed of leaders not to allow BudgIT’s anniversary hackathon to be the end of their ideas.

“Innovations are never-ending. Keep on building and innovating ideas that can change the sphere of Nigeria’s Civic Space.”

Olusegun Elemo, the Director of PLSI, had a lot to say. While providing objective criticism to the participants’ pitches, he also advised the top three finalists to maximise the grants in the best capacity to enhance the development of Nigeria’s civic space. 

We can’t wait to see what these great ideas will birth in the next few years. A big congratulations to ParrotIT.

Don’t forget to follow us on our social media platforms @budgitng for more updates on our activities.