Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD), a research program based at the Center for International Development at Harvard University and IFMR LEAD at the Institute for Financial Management and Research, based in Chennai, India will host a policy-focused hackathon April 18-19 at the American Center in New Delhi, India.

PolicyHack will link specific implementation challenges faced by policymakers and non-profit organizations with relevant data sets and allow teams of developers to compete to design the most interesting and exciting solutions, such as apps, dashboards, data visualizations or interactive maps. With 5-6 different policy tracks – such as building a job distribution system under the DDU-GKY Skills Program to provide equal employment opportunities and designing an interface to help students, teachers, and parents understand school performance and other education-related metrics – the aim is for many of the winning solutions to be directly operationalized by the event’s policy partners.

“What makes this event so exciting is that while Indian government programs collect huge amounts of data, it is often not used to its full capacity to improve the implementation of the program, and thus improve the lives of the people it’s meant to serve,” said Charity Troyer Moore, EPoD India Director and a Judge of the hackathon. “PolicyHack will bring together India’s immense coding, developing and software engineering capacity to help solve some real roadblocks faced by policymakers and non-profit organizations.”

Winners of each policy problem track will win a cash prize. Additionally, the winner(s) of the grand prize will benefit from a two-month incubation space and mentoring at the Delhi office of EPoD’s collaborator, IFMR LEAD. They will also win a trip to visit the EPoD home offices at Harvard Kennedy School to spend a week with top policy and technical experts to be part of cutting-edge work at the intersection of policy and technology.

Judges include Rohini Pande, Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, Charity Troyer Moore, EPoD India Director, Santhosh Mathew, Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Rural Development, and Ajey Gore, founder of Codelgnition.

Due to security requirements at the American Center, media representatives who wish to attend PolicyHack are kindly asked to contact Robert Rosenbaum (details below) as soon as possible.

PolicyHack Agenda
Saturday, April 18, 2015
9:00 am – 9:30 am Participants sign in.
9:30 am – 10:30 am Introduction from EPoD India and background information for the event.
10:30 am-11:00 am Developers meet and form teams.
Remainder of day/night Participants dive into the content, with support from a cohort of mentors.
3:00 pm Developers will have the opportunity to give short talks on cutting edge developments in the tech/coding industry.
8:30 pm Slot times available for participants to sign up.
Sunday, April 19, 2015  
12:00 am+ Last big push for developers, with meals and flashtalks throughout.
3:15 pm – 5:15 pm Each team will give 2-3 minute presentations.
5:15 pm – 5:30 pm Judges select winners.
5:30 pm – 6:00 pm 15 minutes for awards, 10 minutes for closing remarks. Snacks will be available.


Robert Rosenbaum
Contact Phone Number