What is Datafest? 

Datafest is a hackathon that brings together programmers, engineers, journalists, NGOs, data scientists and subject matter experts  over a weekend of intense collaboration to make a difference in important issues. The best teams usually combine the expertise of technology specialists and subject matter experts. This is why we invite  people with all types of expertise to participate. 

The Emphasis
Our Datafest emphasizes both analyzing data and building apps because in every field and on any issue, there is a need to better understand what’s going on and there are people who need new and better software to manage their work and their daily lives. On migration issues, that translates, on the one hand,  into doing data analysis that can help researchers, policy makers and journalists. On the other hand, there is an opportunity to build apps for migrants, nonprofits that work with them and researchers in the field. 

Virtual Participation 
We encourage virtual participation. If you live somewhere where you can’t join a local event, you can still participate.  Please see our virtual participation page for more information. You can also be part of this event by helping define challenges, share links to relevant resources and suggesting project ideas.

Datafest As A Process 

We encourage you to think of the Datafest as a process that starts before the 2-day contest and extends beyond it. If you are interested in coding, data or migration, see the event as an introduction to new ideas and people.  A hackathon is just as much about showcasing your skills and networking with like-minded people as it is about building a project over a weekend. While we offer prizes for best projects, the main goal is to enable a weekend of intense collaboration and discovering what we can accomplish when that happens. 

While the actual contest takes place in November, we invite you to start forming teams and pitching ideas now.  Please join our Google group (here) to connect with others.  The membership will also enable you to collaborate on this site just like you would on a wiki.  You will be able to write and edit and create your own pages. You can also communicate with others via Twitter, IRC, Google+ and Facebook - please see the Connect page for details.