Youth Urban Resilience Hackathon

The humanitarian impacts of disasters, both natural and man-made, are increasingly concentrated in urban areas. Tools for sustainable urban management and development such as waste management, city planning, land and housing regulations, public services and community organization are often overlooking the impact the youth can have in driving this agenda. This hackathon will offer an opportunity for young people to generate innovative solutions for improved community resilience


“Driving Innovations for Better Cities”

28th -30th May 2019


Urban resilience hackathon challenge

It is estimated that by 2050 more than two thirds of the world’s population will live in cities, up from about 54 percent today. While the many benefits of organized and efficient cities are well understood, there is need to recognize that this rapid, often unplanned urbanization brings risks of profound social instability, risks to critical infrastructure, potential water crises and the potential for devastating spread of disease. In Nairobi, lack of built-up areas and poor planning has resulted in the growth of crowded informal settlements with little infrastructure that are disconnected from the main centers of activity, creating problems of urban mobility, access to basic services, unemployment, lack of safe water, sanitation, and hygiene and a host of social problems. Communities in these settlements live in devastated conditions, in poor houses that are closely knit, deprived of critical social amenities and exposed to environmental hazards of pollution, fire, floods and insecurity. Loss of lives and properties due to fire and floods are everyday phenomenon with over 30 fire incidences reported in Mukuru slum alone in the first quarter of 2019. Therefore, there is an urgent need to advance ideas towards these challenges and find alternative innovative solutions to Environmental conservation and water use as well as use of public spaces and business models that would create employment for youth.

The above objectives can be achieved in the following phases:

benefits of product

1. Ideation

The participant(s) are required to submit their ideas and a brief write up of 500 words on one of the 3 thematic areas below using this
Online form

benefits of product

2. Round One Judging

The submissions will be shortlisted and participants will be invited for the Hackathon

benefits of product

3. Mentorship & Expert Series

Panel discussion sessions on the thematic areas will take place with experts drown from Government and other key stakeholders including Kenya Red Cross. Participants will use this opportunity to polish up their ideas and gain more insights.

benefits of product

4. Field visit

In order to have a look and feel of informal settlements and communities for the participating teams,there will be a field visit to Mukuru to understand better challenges of informal settlements and work for solutions

benefits of product

4. Hackathon

Through proper coaching, team work and use of design thinking, participants will be engaged in a whole day non-stop session working on their solutions/submissions to the challenges identified under the three thematic areas. Participant will also prepare for pitching session on the following day.

benefits of product

4. Final Judging

Participants will present their ideas to a panel of experts including Governments, United Nations, Kenya Red Cross, Private Sector and key stakeholders and partners.

Thematic areas

1.Environmental conservation and water use

Amid a changing climate, population growth, rapid development and pervasive urbanization, an unprecedented threat to environment and water supply is more apparent than ever before. Climate change and over-exploitation of natural resources has had negative impact on the environment resulting to land degradation \ and large scale pollution which has to poor social and economic performance of communities.

2.Open and public spaces

Public spaces have historically often been overlooked and undervalued by urban authorities but is increasingly being considered the backbone of settlements. Public spaces are sites which are accessible and enjoyable by all without a profit motive and take on various spatial forms, including parks, streets, sidewalks, markets and playgrounds. Good public spaces enhance community cohesion and promote health, happiness, and well-being for all citizens, especially in urban areas.

3.Innovative business solutions for livelihood and youth employment

To solve youth unemployment in a bid to create livelihood for communities in urban areas innovation and entrepreneurship is fundamental priority areas. The country’s landscape is undergoing major break in terms of new products and technologies driven by youth innovators who are up in exploiting immense opportunities in technology. Therefore solutions, designs and scalable business ideas are key to unlocking youth potential in Kenya.

The Timeline

  • Submissions Deadline

    Submission deadline to participate in the Innovation Challenge.

  • First Round Judging results

    A panel of experts will be convened to advance promising ideas to the next phase. Participants are required to submit their proposals for the first phase and thereafter they will be notified on the selections.

  • Panel Discussion

    Three panel discussions will take place to discuss the thematic areas.

  • Hackathon

    Full day session for teams to work on their solutions.

  • Final Judging

    Hackathon Final Judging and presentations.The winning participant(s) will be announced by the judges, during an award ceremony, and an award shall be presented to the winner.

Who can participate?

1. Individual Students or youth below the age of 30 years.

2. Youth groups jointly working on an idea, solution or designs for change.

Submission Requirements: In order to participant , ensure you follow instructions as you submit your proposal

Winning team will be awarded the opportunity of implementing their solution with KRCS,after incubation and further mentorship to develop a prototype

Register today for the innovation challenge!

For inquiries, kindly contact us via

Please fill out all information requested below to allow security clearance within UN premises

Valid first name is required.
Valid last name is required.
Please enter a valid email address.
Valid ID/Passport number is required.
Valid telephone number is required.