UNDP and North South University partnered for creating a safe and tolerant digital space

July 5, 2022

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and North South University (NSU) joined hands to create a safe and tolerant digital space for the students of NSU, through UNDP’s Partnerships for a Tolerant and Inclusive Bangladesh (PTIB) project.

Under this partnership, UNDP and NSU organized a three-day long hackathon titled “Digital Khichuri Challenge for Pathway to Peaceful Societies: Catalyzing Youth as Responsible Citizens” from 2 to 4 July 2022. 

The Digital Khichuri Challenge started in 2016, is a platform that enables young people to leverage digital means and tools to promote peace, tolerance, and diversity in Bangladesh as responsible citizens and further contributes to SDG targets 4.7 and 16.

The five finalists of the hackathon presented their ideas on 4 July to the jury. “The Flip Side” & "Digital Peace Keeper” were the winners among the five teams, who will receive a mentorship programme from UNDP.

The event was attended by Espen Rikter-Svendsen, Ambassador of Norway to Bangladesh, Professor Atiqul Islam, Vice-Chancellor, North South University, Van Nguyen, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP Bangladesh, Professor Sk. Tawfique M. Haque, Ph.D., Chair, Department of Political Science and Sociology and Director, CPS, SIPG, NSU, Ambassador Shahidul Haque, Professional Fellow, SIPG, NSU, and Robert Stoelman, Project Manager, UNDP along with representatives from various national and international NGOs, faculties from NSU, and experts from the start-up ecosystem.

“The theme for the DKCs is the promotion of global citizenship. Educational institutions are taking the responsibility that students are not just becoming academicians. Through events like this, we encourage the students to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development and become responsible citizens who act to make our society more peaceful, fair, and sustainable,” said Van Nguyen, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP Bangladesh.

Professor Atiqul Islam, Vice-Chancellor, North South University, stated that “Most of the people spread misinformation in the digital space due to lack of knowledge, misunderstanding of the context and without verifying the source and credibility of it. So, the sensible and conscious youth must come forward with ideas and initiatives to stop such spreading of rumours and misinformation in the social media and digital space. This type of competition will help to reduce misinformation in the digital platforms that can ensure a tolerant society in Bangladesh.”

This year, there will be six Digital Khichuri Challenges across the country where ICT Division, RedOrange Media and Communications, and BetterStories Limited are supporting as strategic partners and Barisal Youth Society (BYS), Chalkboard, and Peace Maker Studio as implementing partners. Additionally, these six DKCs will be organized in partnership with different host organizations, for example, educational institutions, and national, and international organizations to expand the program and engage more diverse youth in peacebuilding.