Namibian Service Innovators rewarded

Prize-giving ceremony for the Service Innovation hackathon

July 31, 2020

A demonstration of the winning application, the Profood App.

The United Nations Development Programme in Namibia through its Namibia Accelerator lab held a prize-giving ceremony for the Service Innovation hackathon, on 31 July 2020 in Windhoek. The Accelerator lab has been exploring the different service delivery challenges that have been identified.

Many of the current challenges that governments have been facing are issues which either have to do with cumbersome and manual processes that are tedious and require “out of the box thinking”. There are a total of 9 challenges all related to service delivery which are highlighted as current challenges which government is currently facing as follows: Digitization of Services; Economic Transformation; Ease of Doing Business; Tourism of Tomorrow; Access to Essential Services; Virtual Healthcare; Protecting the Vulnerable; Building strong institutions and Accountability.

The Service Innovation hackathon challenged participants to develop digital and innovative solutions to address the pain points and challenges government has been experiencing on service delivery. First of its kind, this project proved to be a success with 68 entries submitted by young Namibians around the country.  Over half of the entries were shortlisted and 16 were chosen to present their proposals.  Five proposals made it to the final judging phase of which three were picked as the overall winners.

Ms Alka Bhatia, UNDP Namibia Resident Representative speaking at the award-giving ceremony of the Service Innovation Hackathon

UNDP Namibia Resident Representative, Ms Alka Bhatia, and the Permanent Secretary at Office of the Prime Minister, Ms Nangula Mbako, handed over the prizes to the lucky winners.  “If and when these solutions work, they will need to be scaled up for policymakers who are interested in introducing innovation for a particular sector”, Ms Bhatia stated at the award ceremony. This model is one in which the Accelerator Lab follows as a means of addressing societal challenges and fostering a more collaborative and inclusive approach.

The winning apps

1st Prize – Pro-food Application. The ProFoodApp digitizes Namibia’s local and traditional food system flows thereby providing mapping, visualizing and monitoring capacity to allow food to be located, procured and distributed to the end beneficiary in a more transparent manner. 

The first Prize winners: Pro-food App

2nd Prize – Kwafa  E-Home Affairs.  Kwafa is a platform where you can apply or renew your passport in the comfort of your own home.

2nd Prize Winner: Kwafa E-Home Affairs system

3rd Prize - Traffic Ticket Management. Traffic ticket management is a centralized online portal that allows citizens to view outstanding fines and pay their outstanding traffic fines.

3rd Prize winner: Traffic Tickets system

The Service Innovation hackathon was a joint initiative between the Office of the Prime Minister, Green Enterprises, Namibia University of Science and technology, the Anti-corruption Commission and the UNDP. The winning Apps will be refined through prototype testing and further refined and developed. A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) will then be ‘handed over’ to the custodian government Office/ Ministry / Agency for further piloting given scaling it up and improved in subsequent iterations.