COVID-19 Island Hack Prototype Challenge




Do you hack tools or systems? Are you looking to create the next innovative pandemic solution that addresses present or future challenges? If so, we want YOU to participate in UNDP’s COVID-19 #IslandHack!




COVID-19 is an unprecedented global crisis with numerous implications. In addition to compromised health, this pandemic presents vast socio-economic issues, many of which disproportionately impact developing countries where income losses are predicted to reach at least US $220 billion. In the Eastern Caribbean, immediate effects are being felt among communities reliant on tourism, food structures dependent on imports and Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) now struggling to cope with business closures and declining revenue streams. With island states on lockdown, increased self-isolation measures in place and international flight suspensions, there will be more repercussions to come that compromise livelihoods, particularly among the informal sector.

Now more than ever, innovation is needed in order to identify disruptive responses to the complex problems the Eastern Caribbean faces due to COVID-19. How can systems be reimagined? How can we look at traditional models in new ways? How can the digital tools at our disposal lead to relevant breakthroughs? In doing so, we can help ensure a safer and stronger future, leaving no person behind.

We invite the innovators, entrepreneurs, thinkers, dreamers, visionaries, creatives and more to participate in UNDP’s Eastern Caribbean #IslandHack prototype challenge as we come together to find #NextGen solutions to COVID-19!



Come up with an innovative #IslandHack prototype idea that will help solve an Eastern Caribbean COVID-19 challenge.

May 12: As an individual or team of up to 4 persons, submit your innovative #IslandHack proposal via WhatsApp to +1 (246)-832-5075 with either a 3-minute (maximum) video or written message.  In your WhatsApp submission, please include the following:

  • Name(s) of participant(s)
  • Country location base
  • Contact e-mail
  • Contact WhatsApp number
  • Problem statement
  • Proposed solution
  • Budget
  • Timeline

May 15: Shortlisted candidates will be notified of their selection and will be sent a link to a designated #IslandHack online communications channel

May 20: #IslandHack Hackathon Day of Prototyping - in designated online communications channels, participants will have 24 hours to track their design of prototypes based on submitted WhatsApp proposals

May 22: Participants will submit a 5-minute (maximum) #IslandHack video demonstrating the prototype created during the #IslandHack Hackathon Day of Prototyping

May 28: 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners will be announced following judging period



While all solutions and prototypes responding to any COVID-19 Eastern Caribbean challenge are welcome, below are some categories of interest for participant consideration:

  • Digitization of Fisheries: How can fisheries be modernized in order to digitize fisherfolk offerings?
  • Economic Transformation: How can MSMEs develop virtual business models accounting for the future of work? How can digital payment tools be strengthened, thus enabling the e-commerce growth of MSMEs?
  • Tourism of Tomorrow: How can the tourism sector shift and adapt to declining travel rates and changing consumer needs?
  • Access to Essential Services: What resources can help the public better access essential services in a safe manner?
  • Virtual Healthcare: How can healthcare be efficiently and securely accessed in the context of the pandemic? This includes healthcare workers on the front lines and patients at home practicing physical distancing.
  • Protecting the Vulnerable: How can vulnerable persons such as the elderly and disabled access food and medicine without leaving their homes?
  • Mobile Tracking: How can mobile location tracking through smartphones or apps be used to fight the spread of COVID-19?



Participants will have access to prototype mentorship from diverse regional experts in categories such as economics, hospitality, agriculture, fisheries, entrepreneurship and more. The mentor list will be announced shortly.  

Mentorship will work as follows:

  • Selected participants will be assigned a Mentor
  • Mentors will provide prototype feedback pre #IslandHack Day of Prototyping
  • Mentors will be available online for 3 hours of live feedback during the #IslandHack Day of Prototyping



  1st prize: US $10,000

 2nd prize: US $5,000

  3rd prize: US $3,000


Preference will be given to ideas and prototypes based on the following:

  • Quick ability to apply prototype (the faster the better)
  • Potential to scale throughout the Eastern Caribbean
  • High degree of innovation
  • Cost effective implementation
  • Solution to a real and problematic Eastern Caribbean COVID-19 challenge



Participants over the age of 18 who are recognized nationals in the following countries are eligible to participate: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.


For more information, please contact: