Enabling Technologists to Solve Global Issues

Blockchain allows for additional transparency and accountability while smart contracts enable business logic and rules to be managed more efficiently.

Mehran Hydary, UNICEF Innovation
Participants at ETH New York
UNICEF Innovation

18 June 2019

UNICEF Ventures  and UNICEF France took part in ETHNewYork in May 2019.  ETHNewYork is a large blockchain community gathering that had over 500 attendees learning and building blockchain applications. UNICEF participated at ETHNewYork by sharing a bounty for developers to work on related to decreasing the digital divide and led a learning event for newcomers in blockchain.

ETHNewYork Venue
ETHNewYork
ETHNewYork Venue

UNICEF France donated 10 ETH for a bounty for the event to a team of developers working on bringing connectivity to the world with blockchain. Blockchain can be used to help share information in a transparent manner.  This can be used for overseeing how funding is used, contracts are managed, etc.

 

For participants to be eligible for the prize, development teams had to build 2 of the following features:

  1. Connecting donors to regions that need connectivity
  2. Enable Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to bid on providing connectivity for different regions
  3. Enable governments, the public, and connectivity/network providers to view connectivity for a specific region
  4. Enable governments, the public to hold all parties accountable for the internet service that they are providing


Furthermore, UNICEF Innovation organized a single-day SURGE Learning Event.  The workshop, conducted with Bounties Network and MakerDAO, introduced the “fun”damentals of blockchain and its ecosystems to newcomers.

High-school students attending the SURGE Learning Event
UNICEF Innovation/Christina Lomazzo
High-school students attending the SURGE Learning Event

Learning Event

The day was structured with seminars that introduced blockchain wallets, bounties, smart contracts, and stable coins.  They also facilitated open discussions to have attendees ask questions about the use and impact of blockchain. The session ended with information on how they could continue learning and staying engaged in the New York / Global blockchain ecosystem.


To learn more about SURGE, please visit here.

Christina Lomazzo, Blockchain Lead at UNICEF Innovation awarding the prize from UNICEF France to Hackpackers
ETHNewYork
Christina Lomazzo, Blockchain Lead at UNICEF Innovation awarding the prize from UNICEF France to Hackpackers

The Winners

At the end of ETHNewYork, a winner was selected by a group of judges to a team that had created a web application to connect donors to regions that need connectivity and a service to hold all parties accountable for the internet service provided for any given region. A team of developers, called Hackpackers, developed the following solution:

  1. A website that has a global map that allows donors to click on a region and send donations to provide connectivity to that region; the funds are locked in escrow until additional parameters / conditions are met.
  2. A browser plug-in was also created to monitor internet connectivity for regions using IP addresses for computers in the region that has been provided connectivity.
Hackpackers at ETHNewYork
UNICEF Innovation/Christina Lomazzo
Hackpackers at ETHNewYork

Up Next


SURGE will continue to facilitate events around the world in 2019.  If you are interested in learning more or getting involved, please reach out to our team at blockchain [at] unicef [dot] org.