THE HEALTH HACKATHON on Emergency Risk Communication For West Africa

THE HEALTH HACKATHON on Emergency Risk Communication For West Africa

Code of Conduct 

The Heath Hackathon on Emergency Risk Communication is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression,  sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, stature, race, age or religion.

The organizers will not tolerate harassment of hackathon participants in any form. Explicit sexual language and imagery are not appropriate for any hackathon setting, materials or context. This includes the physical venue, online channels or any linked environments where verbal, visual or audio tools would be used or where physical and emotional expressions may be made. Hackathon participants violating these rules may be expelled from the event at the discretion of the organizers and if necessary report to the appropriate authority.

Harassment includes, but is not limited to:

Verbal comments that reinforce social structures of domination related to gender, gender identity, and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, stature, race, age or religion

Explicit, sexual or culturally insensitive images in public spaces

Deliberate intimidation, stalking or following

Harassing photography or recording

Sustained disruption of talks or other events

Inappropriate physical contact

Unwelcome sexual attention

Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behaviours

Any of the above behaviours that are done in the real world, through proxies or online

Gender approach

There have been many efforts during the past few years to raise awareness of gender gaps and equality in the ICT industry in West Africa. The process has been slow so at Sensi Tech Hub we decided to do things differently: we introduced the “Women in Tech” program to provide training in ICT for over five hundred young women over the past two years for free. This means we have built a large community of women interested in ICT and its opportunities in Sierra Leone. For this hackathon, we will recruit directly from our community to ensure we have a gender-balanced competition. With this project, we will make all communication (emails, websites, social media and other electronic and hard copy promotional materials) gender-friendly. We will avoid words that might be insensitive or intimidating to women, and instead we will emphasise cross-collaboration and knowledge-sharing to reach women who historically have been underrepresented at competition events. We set out to create a tech event that would be equally attractive to men and women.

Being explicit about attracting female talent is expected to boost the number of relevant applicants. On all of our promotional materials and public engagement we will clearly state that female candidates are encouraged to apply.

We are cognizant of potential biases during the selection phase, where male participants may be emboldened to project more confident and outspoken displays than female participants. Selection panels will balance scoring on final presentations with other parts of the group prototype such as strength of idea to resolve problems. Of course, selection panels themselves will be balanced in representation. We will ensure that female mentors provide input to teams and we will seek to increase the visibility of these women that will participate through tailored leadership, personal development and mentorship regardless of cultural context or gender.

Creating more gender balance in this type of project requires a concerted effort by all stakeholders. But as key implementers, we will have to catalyse a change in mindset through leading by example. This is why we prioritise more gender-balanced representation from participating institutions and engage women-focused networks. Overall we will strive for a 50% female participation ratio rate for the project.

Moreover, throughout the events, participants will be reminded to take into account gender during the competition. We will encourage them to find solution that incorporate mechanisms to address gender inequalities in risk communication.