UNICEF and KBTU held a hackathon to create Digital Public Goods with the participation of girls

22 June 2024
Хакатон DPG Lab в КБТУ

ALMATY, June 22, 2024 - In Almaty, the Kazakh-British Technical University (KBTU) hosted a Hackathon on the creation of Digital Public Goods with the participation of girls. Fifty local schoolgirls took part in the Hackathon. Previously, they completed a special online course as part of the DPG Labaimed at supporting girls in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics) and created by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF). The Program was developed as a gamification approach by GameLab KBTU with a focus on a collaborative learning environment and cooperation.

Digital Public Goods (DPG) are digital products and services that provide significant public benefits, such as: open learning resources, open-source software, open artificial intelligence systems, open standards etc.

Having mastered the basic skills and principles associated with the creation of digital products and the use of artificial intelligence in the context of Digital Public Goods, the girls completed a task in teams to create their own DPG project, which they were able to present during the Hackathon in Almaty.

Rashed Mustafa Sarwar, UNICEF Representative to Kazakhstan, highlighted: “As a technical expert in the development of Digital Public Goods in Central Asia, UNICEF, together with national partners, have developed an educational program on the creation of Digital Public Goods that will help young IT startups contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Innovation, promoting gender equality through the development of IT skills and popularizing STEAM among girls are very important for UNICEF.”

An important part of the Program was the approach where the girls were able to take an online course, consolidate their knowledge in a game-based form in the DPG simulator, and also complete an online quest with their team, which develops teamwork skills. Each course participant had the opportunity to become part of an IT team and master the development of digital products that could potentially become the next DPG.

Alexandra Knysheva, Head of GameLab KBTU and DPG Lab Coordinator: “The goal of our course is to increase the number of projects that contribute to sustainable development through the creation of digital public goods. Open-source products, open data, Artificial Intelligence systems, and content collections will ensure freedom and accessibility in the digital space."

Thanks to the course on creating Digital Public Goods, the girls learned about open-source code, data protection, digital literacy, principles of developing IT projects, and team work. Depending on the readiness of teams and projects, they may be included in the Kazakhstan register of DPG candidates and secure further project support.

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More about UNICEF activities on www.unicef.org.

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GameLab KBTU - Video Game Development and Research Laboratory - was created in 2022 on the basis of the IT and Engineering School of the Kazakh-British Technical University. The main tasks of the laboratory: development and implementation of educational programs on game development and gamification for KBTU students and for a wide audience; mentoring student projects in the field of video game development and research; research activities in the field of video games and gamification. Lab’s page in Instagram

Alexandra Knysheva - Head of GameLab KBTU, the laboratory for the development and research of video games, MA in Media Studies, the first ambassador of an international organization Women inGames in Kazakhstan.