UNDP holds a series of youth hackathons in the regions of Kazakhstan

November 8, 2022
Photo: UNDP Kazakhstan

Aktau, November 08, 2022 - The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Kazakhstan has launched a series of regional youth hackathons in Kazakhstan called SKILLS UP. The aim of the hackathons is to raise awareness of 21st century skills and competencies, inspire young people to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers, develop digital and entrepreneurial skills, and increase motivation to implement positive life scenarios.

According to the Global Knowledge Index, Kazakhstan today ranks 78th out of 154 countries. The country has a high level of education, but low rates in terms of R&D and innovation (124th out of 154). In Kazakhstan, there is a gap between the skills needed by industry and businesses and the knowledge acquired by young people. Kazakhstan faces the task of providing the labor market with specialists capable of offering innovative and technological solutions to modern challenges in an ever-changing world.

Photo: UNDP Kazakhstan
"Today, knowledge-based growth is the foundation of human development, the driving force behind discoveries and innovations. That is why UNDP, together with national partners, is creating a platform - the Knowledge Week - to discuss key skills, technological trends, innovations, as well as new approaches to providing educational services to build a knowledge-based economy,"
said Sukhrob Khojimatov, UNDP Resident Representative a.i. in Kazakhstan.
Photo: UNDP Kazakhstan

The SKILLS UP youth hackathon is one of the main stages of the National Knowledge Week 2022, which will be held in December this year with the support of UNDP. The first regional hackathon was held at Yessenov University in Aktau, the Mangystau region; the next three will be held in Turkestan (November 10), Karaganda (November 14) and the East Kazakhstan regions (November 16). Each hackathon will have three winning teams. 12 selected teams will have the opportunity to compete for the main prize, a grant for the implementation of their solution, during the final competition in Almaty.

In anticipation of the regional hackathons, more than 500 registered participants have also completed a week-long online educational bootcamp. The master classes have been  organized for them for creating a startup from scratch - from generating ideas and testing hypotheses to creating business models and prototypes. The bootcamp also includes classes on creating monetization strategies, no-code development and prototyping on Arduino.