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Global RHoK

The flagship program at Random Hacks of Kindness is the global hackathon event conducted every six months. The Global RHoK Weekend is usually set on the 1st  weekend of June and the 1st weekend of December.

Communities around the world conduct local hackathons on that weekend, sharing challenges and ideas, developing projects both locally and across sites.


In 2012 about 30 communities organised RHoK simultaneously around the world . Over 900  participants were involved that year, and over 7000 participants have been involved in at least one RHoK event.


Event Format :

The main event is a hackathon which held over a 48 hour period during which software developers, hardware developers, data scientists, subject matter experts, designers, writers and educators hack on a range of humanitarian challenges to create a proof of concept prototypes and to move the state of work on existing projects foward by quantum leaps.


Challenge Statements

The problems presented during each event are either proposed internally by the attendees themselves or by external non-participants. Often the challenges proposed are by professional experts in the field that they address. Other challenges are brought forward by ordinary people who have been affected by the issues they are asking the community to address. As a community, our aim is to solve real world problems through free and open source technology.


The challenge statements are usually submitted to this site so that participants from any local community can view and work on them. By providing descriptions of both challenges and solutions on this site, anyone can look through current or past work to determine if a solution or partial solution for their needs already exists in the community. Challenge statements may also be hosted on the sites of individual communities.


The Process

  1. Challenge Statement Submission: Most communities encourage problem statement submissions days before the event. This provides participants the opportunity to look at a range of things that they might work on over the weekend, and to start doing research towards the goal of building effective solutions during the event itself.

  2. Choosing a challenge to work on: Most locations will have a period at the beginning of the hackathon weekend in which anywhere from 2 to 10 challenges are presented in the form of lightning talks by a challenge advocate. After all the challenge presentations, individuals choose which project they want to work on and break into teams. Teams or Individuals may also find challenge statements from the central repository.

  3. Building a solution: Participants build these solutions in partnership with subject matter experts and, when possible, with end users. The solutions built could be mobile applications, web sites, hardware solutions or documentation. All solutions built during RHoK are required to be under open source licenses.

  4. Submiting a solution: Before the end of the weekend, teams submit the solution both to their local site through a short live presentation and, hopefully, to the global community through our website. The Global Solutions submission form gives teams an opportunity to name each member and what they worked on, describe their solution, and share links to the sites where their work is hosted (eg GitHub, Flickr, Drive, etc).


Judging and Prizes

It is encouraged to judge the hacks built during the hackathon and prizes be given to the winners.

  1. Global Judging:  Each round of RHoK Global Hackathon, there may be prizes, mentorship opportunities, and other awards offered to some of the most promising projects. The requirements and judging criteria for those awards is published on or before the Monday previous to the Global Event. A panel is chosen by RHoK's global coordinators at Geeks Without Bounds to judge the hacks based on the published criteria. Every participating team is encouraged to pitch at this judging by submitting their projects to this Website. Awards and criteria may be determined by donors who sponsor the awards or by the community through voting in the case of awards provided through grassroots fundraising.

  2. Local Judging: Each local RHoK community can offer prizes, certificates, and/or thank you gifts that are paid for through their local fundraising and for which the criteria are determined locally.