THEME: Using data, evidence and technology driven solutions in agriculture and food value chains to improve food security in Kenya

For 2023, the hackathon is focusing on food security and exploring solutions and ideas driven by data and evidence and that can make the most effective use of technology.


Data Hackathon 2023

What is the Data Hackathon 2023 about?

For 2023, the hackathon is focusing on food security and exploring solutions and ideas driven by data and evidence and that can make the most effective use of technology. Participation will include data scientist and analyst beyond university students and work with a range of institutions and stakeholders. This hackathon is looking to generate solutions and ideas that can be implemented and monetised.

Key Dates

The Hackathon will be at Wowzi House from Thursday 30th March with Prize giving on Saturday 1st April

Registration Opens:

Friday 17th March 2023


Tuesday 28th March


Friday 31st March to Saturday 1st April

Prize Giving:

4th April

2022 Hackathon Overview

A quick look back at the 2022 Hackathon

In 2022, The ONS- KNBS partnership partnered with Strathmore University and The Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (GPSDD) to run a hackathon targeted at the use of official data with big data to focus on key issues using SDGs and Government of Kenya policy priorities to guide focus areas. KNBS wanted to work with universities and their students to encourage better use of 2019 census data and released a 10% sample of the data to be used for the hackathon. The winning team ‘data crunchers’ from JKUAT focused on creating a platform to track access to emergency healthcare as part of the Government of Kenya’s policy goal for Universal Healthcare.

The Proposal

Why This Hackathon?

Help Solve Kenya's Biggest Challenge; Drought

This year’s hackathon will be a collaborative effort between the ONS- KNBS partnership, the UK Tech Hub and other parts of the British High Commission working together with both GoK and Private sector partners. A theme has been pre-selected to address one of the biggest challenges that Kenya is facing now, severe drought in parts of the country and some of the worst malnutrition rates the country has seen.

The hackathon aims to address these issues through the prism of data and evidence looking at the entirety of the data value-chain from design, collection, analysis, dissemination, and use to derive solutions and ideas. We want to encourage the use of different types of data and applications and encourage thinking around information provision and use considering the varying needs and challenges faced by data users. Part of the exercise should also look at the data gaps that need to be addressed for more effective solutions. It will be important to consider the ethics of data use and ensure adequate representation of different populations. A set of data, including official data will be made available for use and there will be support on how to use these data.

This event will be a great opportunity for all participants to collaborate and network around their ideas, fostering learning and sharing of expertise. This is a solutions-based exercise looking at producing innovations around the food security challenges the country is facing. We want participants to develop and pitch solutions that can be implemented, monetised, and scaled and we will have stakeholders in the room that are in the market for those ideas.

We want to use this opportunity to explore data and evidence driven solutions and the use of technology, to find solutions for the array of problems around food security in Kenya. This could include but is not limited to:
Food Supply

Improving supply of food – production, market access, logistics etc

Food Access

Increasing access to food especially for the most vulnerable populations and areas

Crisis Coordination

Improving coordination of response to food security crisis

Data Collection

Improving data collection, accuracy of analysis and access to data especially with a focus on geography

Needs Analysis

Improving needs analysis for better targeting of resources to the most vulnerable


Better early warning forecasting of high-risk situations especially those exacerbated by onset of infectious disease, conflict, or natural disasters

Testing & Scaling

Testing and scaling what works especially where there are already some success stories

The Ask

Who Can Participate?

The data hackathon will be open to the data science community in Kenya including university students

We are interested in working with institutions that are fostering the development of data science skills in Kenya. The task will be to use these data science and analytical skills together with other skills around effective collaboration, problem solving, communication etc., to develop and pitch a proposal to the judging team that can be implemented.  We want to encourage a collaborative team-based approach, it will be crucial to build a team with varying skill sets that do not just include the technical, but skills such as problem solving, policy analysis, strategic thinking and presentation and communication. Participants can register in teams of no more than five people.

The task should entail some of the following, but teams are free to approach these as they see fit:
Identify the problem to address around food security, where you feel you can provide a unique and innovative solution.
Recruit a mix of people for your team with similar interests but varied skills.
Create a framework for developing your idea, there is no set format for this, and this will be guided by the experience of the team and the type of idea you’re working on. The framework should allow you to work through and communicate your idea effectively.
Assess the available data and evidence and what information will drive your solution/idea, this should also include a gap analysis and some ideas about how these can be addressed.
Prepare an engaging presentation/slide deck setting out your idea, why it was selected and what it proposes. Focus on what changes you want to make with your proposal, what the benefits are, how it adds value and is innovative. Think of the best and most engaging way to pitch your idea.

Judgment & Prizes


The top 3 teams will be selected for support in further developing their ideas

The pitches will be judged on:

  • Appropriate use of available data and evidence to develop a meaningful idea including the quality of analysis of the problem and data and evidence gaps
  • The quality of the presentation to the audience, an important focus to influence how well the idea is understood by the audience and chances of success
  • Most important will be the quality of the idea and solution and how well it can be implemented, monetised, and scaled up- this should be the focus of the pitches.


What's in it for you?

  • Strathmore Course and Certificate on Data science
  • Personalised Networking and opportunities to meet with FCDO and British High Commission
  • Opportunity to present winning ideas to relevant stakeholders- including government, industry, development partners
  • Sponsorship of conference in the UK
  • VIP package at Kenya Innovation Week
  • Media/Influencing pack from Wowzi

Everybody has a creative potential and from the moment you can express this creative potential, you can start changing the world"

- Paulo Coelho

Hackathon Location

The Hackathon will be at Wowzi House from Friday 31st March with Prize giving on Saturday 4th April


Are you up for the challenge?

Your work could help Kenya feed itself and the world! Help Kenya solve issues such as; lack of inputs, seeds, fertilisers, machinery, irrigation, ability to afford inputs, financing, insurance etc with the help of data science.


Working Together For A Bigger Goal