Smart, International Alert Philippines collaborate to hack for peace

Oct 5, 16 • Press ReleaseNo CommentsRead More »
Understanding the cause and cost of conflicts with the aid of technology
[04 OCT 2016] To help mitigate the effects of conflict in the Philippines, leader in mobile, Smart Communications (Smart), through its developer network, Smart DevNet, partnered with International Alert Philippines (IAP) to mount the very first #PeaceHack in the country.

A total of 22 teams participated in the recently concluded peace hackathon, each armed with an idea on how to help understand and prevent conflict. Out of the 22, only six teams advanced to the final round–a pitching session before representatives from IAP, DevCon, Web Geek Philippines and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

“There will be a great difference if we will be able to understand carefully and help prevent the root cause of societal issues. We believe that through the help of technology, we will be able to assess and monitor issues as soon as they arise, to prevent them from progressing into full-blown conflicts,” said Paul Pajo of Smart DevNet.

“We see technology as a tool in peace-building. Technology can help address or highlight issues that provoke conflict. Technology can also create the conditions for peace for thrive,” said Nikki Philline C. de la Rosa of IAP.

IAP promotes ‘conflict-sensitive economic governance’ among local governments, companies and communities with a view towards mitigating potential community risks and violent conflicts. In the Philippines, the organization is focused on addressing conflict in Mindanao through research and analyses, capacity-building, and multi-stakeholder collaborations.

After the two-day hack, Hubert Bryan R. Ursua emerged as the first-prize winner with Peace Talk, a text messaging-based chatbot for people affected by disasters or conflicts. Michael Gerard T. Galon won the second prize with PHOM or Ph Opinion Mining, an app which provides information and sentiment about issues and events in the Philippines, specifically for Filipinos living abroad. The third prize went to Regine S. Reyes and Renate C. Gouveia for SAAN or Social Action Advocacy Network, an app for providing feedback on government services and enabling like-minded individuals to jointly push a particular cause.

The winners received trophies and cash prizes totaling P100,000.

 

“As a tech company and communications provider, we play a key role in mitigating conflicts in the country. We would d like to thank International Alert Philippines for spearheading a project like this and for involving us in making a difference in the lives of millions,” concluded Pajo.

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