Learn more about our previous hackathons where we’ve created and delivered results for refugees!

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June 2019: AWS Hackathon for Good in washington, d.c.

Students, professional and hacking enthusiasts alike gathered in Washington, D.C. on June 10th for Amazon Web Services’ 2nd annual Hackathon for Good. Connecting volunteer data scientists, engineer, business executives and students, the hackathon challenged participants to develop innovative technical solutions for nonprofit organizations including USA for UNHCR, using AWS technology.

USA for UNHCR posed the challenge of developing a tool for two-way communication on the unrefugees.org website that would inspire interest and allow Americans to more easily engage on refugee issues.

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NOVEMBER 2018: #HackABetterWorld presented by USA for UNHCR, Airbnb AND DonorsChoose.org in san francisco, ca

On Friday November 2, over eighty data scientists, students, engineers and people from across the globe filed into the “Human” room at Airbnb’s headquarters in San Francisco. They were all there for one reason: to #HackABetterWorld for refugees. They spent the evening listening as staff from USA for UNHCR, DonorsChoose.org and Airbnb presented them with three major challenges:

  • Challenge One: Help identify communities in the United States that are likely to be open and welcoming to refugees.

  • Challenge Two: Build a tool to help improve refugee outcomes, either through better understanding media and social media sentiment surrounding refugees or identifying how we can improve water access for refugees in camps and settlements using satellite imagery and UNHCR WASH’s borehole open source data.

  • Challenge Three: Using data from DonorChoose.org, identify new ways to support educators who are serving refugee students.

Learn more about the inaugural #HackABetterWorld here.


AUGUST 2017: DataDive, presented by #Givingtuesday, datakind, and the bill & Melinda gates foundation in seattle, wa

At a 2017 DataDive presented by USA for UNHCR, #GivingTuesday and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a team of DataKind volunteers led by Evelyn Lang, Ravin Pierre, and Friederike Schüür worked alongside Rita Ko and Franck Mujyanama of USA for UNHCR to see how emerging technologies like data science and newly available data sources might be leveraged to help the organization raise awareness and showcase the refugee experience to inspire more donors to give.

Using satellite imagery from refugee camps in South Sudan, the team helped USA for UNHCR create prototypes of two new tools to increase awareness of the refugee crisis and potentially help inform relief efforts on the ground.

Learn more out the DataKind DataDive here.