The Air Quality Hackathon Challenges
Challenge 1
Sensors Africa has the largest air quality sensor network that spans across East-West and South Africa. However, similar to any hardware equipment, the sensors may experience downtime due to power or connectivity issues. These downtimes can cause data gaps and leaks, leading to missing data and making the network vulnerable to cyber attacks. Moreover, each time the devices experience downtime, they need to be recalibrated, which can take a considerable amount of time and can adversely affect the quality of the data.

Challenge
A tool to address data gaps during sensor downtime and predict missing information with machine learning

Nonprofit experts
Usman Ahmed

Quote from the nonprofit
sensors.AFRICA is a pan-African citizen scientist initiative that aims to provide consistent & accurate real-time air quality data to citizens & civic watchdogs in Africa. A tool that addresses our data gaps related to air sensor downtime and prediction of missing information is crucial in ensuring that we fulfill our mission to provide actionable data to contribute to the clean air movement, participate in climate action & urban resilience initiatives, and shape policy conversations in the African continent.


Challenge 2
In Bangladesh, only one organization focuses on addressing air pollution. This social enterprise strives to provide clean air indoors for people, especially in the world's most polluted city, where people are unaware of the harmful effects of air pollution.

To raise awareness in the community about this issue, the organization plans to install an art and science exhibit in the main park. This exhibit will display the harmful effects of the current state of the air on health and expected longevity by converting air quality metrics into the number of cigarettes smoked. However, they need a technological solution to connect the sensors and the display and visualize the data.

Challenge
A tech solution to connect sensors to an engaging exhibit

Nonprofit experts
Boudewijn Sterk - Managing Director

Quote from the nonprofit?
" As a small enterprise, it's difficult to access the level of skills and expertise that the Hackathon participants bring with them. The hackathon will be a game changer for our air pollution campaign and make our impact even stronger and more awesome! Having the support of the Hackathon team makes us feel super motivated and empowers us in our battle for clean air in Bangladesh."

Challenge 3
The Polish Smog Alert organization has launched a physical art installation campaign called "Clean Lungs" to showcase the harmful effects of smog on people's health. The installation, which resembles a pair of lungs, travels to different cities for two weeks at a time. During this time, it detects the level of pollution in the surrounding area, and gradually turns black depending on the air quality.

The organization aims to digitize this experience by creating a website/ browser widget that provides a similar experience to users, regardless of their location. This will help them understand the impact of poor air quality on their lungs. The website will be accessible globally, allowing individuals from various cities around the world to learn about the effects of smog on their health.

Challenge
A digital product to transform art into awareness, digitizing "Clean Lungs" and reflecting real-time air quality impacts globally.

Nonprofit experts
Polski Alert Smogowy team

Quote from the nonprofit?
" Polish air is among the most polluted in Europe. We, as the Polish Smog Alert, take all possible actions to change this situation. We have been conducting our own air quality measurements and social campaigns for many years. We also constantly push for changes in the law that improve air quality. We believe that our activities can be more effective thanks to the use of technology - it can help us reach more people and increase our impact. That's why we're taking part in the Hackathon! We are sure that thanks to the support of Tech to the Rescue and the Hackathon participants, we can achieve a much more impactful result in the fight for clean air! "

Challenge 4
Thailand Clean Air Network aims to influence air quality legislation by addressing governmental "greenwashing" through their new bill proposal created two years ago. The legislation proposal has already entered parliament, but it is currently stuck without a vote.

The organization has gathered over 60,000 signatures on their petition to process the bill. While their goal is to raise over a million signatures, they only need 100,000 to make it happen. You can help them achieve this goal by using technology. This organization's challenge is that legal language is not very appealing to a wider audience. Therefore, they are looking for solutions to explain better the positive impact of the proposed solutions to a broader range of people.

Challenge
A tech solution to bridge the gap between legal jargon and people's lives, empowering support for cleaner air legislation with personalized information

Nonprofit experts
Polski Alert Smogowy team

Quote from the nonprofit?
" We see technology as an important tool to help ignite awareness and empower action by people to protect their right to breathe clean air."

Challenge 5
Afri-SET evaluates low-cost air quality sensors in West Africa for use in under-served areas. They want to create a manufacturer-agnostic database to store data from different sensors, which currently involves bespoke solutions for each manufacturer.

They envision providing a data management solution for any stakeholder who wishes to have their sensors hosted on our platform. Additionally, they aim to report corrected data from low-cost sensors, which require information beyond specific pollutants. They need a database that can easily find ancillary data and apply corrections.

Challenge
A universal database solution to unite diverse sensor data in West Africa, standardizing outputs for accurate, corrected information

Nonprofit experts
Afri-SET team

Quote from the nonprofit?
" Afri-SET is dedicated to increasing air quality monitoring across Africa by increasing the confidence in and uptake of low-cost air quality sensors. Doing this requires maximizing data accessibility and increasing end-user capacity to manipulate and analyze that data, which we hope to achieve in the Hackathon!"

Challenge 6
Indonesia has a significant opportunity to address its air quality issues in 2024. The country's presidential election is scheduled for February, followed by national and local government elections in August.

Bicara Udara believes that the best way to bring about positive change is to raise awareness among the population (regarding the risks connected with smog and how much it costs) and encourage them to vote with this issue in mind. The age group between 18-35 years old makes up almost 56% of the eligible voting society, which amounts to approximately 96 million people.

To effectively engage with Gen Z and Millennials, the organization needs to inform them about the candidates' stance on air pollution and empower them to contribute to transformative change.

Challenge
A user-friendly tech tool to empower Indonesia's youth to vote for clean air by showcasing candidates' views on air pollution

Nonprofit experts
Bicara Udara team

Quote from the nonprofit?
"I am thrilled to express my enthusiasm for participating in the upcoming hackathon aimed at developing a maze runner game centered around the critical issue of air pollution, with a specific focus on raising awareness among voters in Indonesia. As a passionate advocate for environmental sustainability, I firmly believe in the power of technology and gamification to educate and inspire change."

Challenge 7
The Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) is an independent research organization that is dedicated to uncovering trends, causes, health impacts, and solutions to air pollution.

They are seeking assistance in creating and refining a model that will enable the estimation of air pollution emissions using publicly available satellite data. CREA wants to derive from that data how much a power plant could be emissioning.

By establishing a correlation between "ground truth data" and "satellite estimation," this solution can revolutionize how governments, civil societies, and emitting facilities make decisions, leading to a cleaner and healthier future for all.

Challenge
A tech solution to revolutionize air pollution decision-making, estimating emissions using satellite data for a cleaner and healthier future

Nonprofit experts
The Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) team
#TechForCleanAir
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