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DIHAD – International Humanitarian Hackathon Online is designed to create innovative ideas/solutions for humanitarian aid. International organizations, incubators, tech companies, startups, academics and talented students will come together to generate ground-breaking ideas, build prototypes and launch new solutions that could help save people and countries affected by crises, coronavirus and natural calamities.

It’ll be held online from 17th – 18th November, 2020 and those selected and qualified finalists as team will be able to pitch at DIHAD 2021 which will be held from 15th – 17th March, 2021 in Dubai. Team up and register by 12th November, 2020 in order to participate

“Join the International Humanitarian Hackathon and create innovative ideas / solutions to the needs of the people and countries affected by crises, disasters and natural calamities and win a cash prize worth
total AED 150,000!”

Hackathon Tracks:

1. Innovation Technology

2. Humanitarian Aid

3. Government Support

How It Works:
  1. Make a team with fellow hackathon enthusiasts from your university and startups (3-4 per team)

  2. Registration Closes by 12th Nov. 2020

  3. Disclose and describe challenges’ details and access to the data for those challenges provided by supporters on 14th Nov. 2020

  4. Time to hack and build innovative solutions on 17th & 18th Nov. 2020
  5. Introduction to IBM team (10-15 min) on the 17th Nov.

  6. IBM Developer Workshop “Create a Voice-enabled Crisis Communication Chatbot using Node-RED” (1 hour) for 12 – 1 PM on 17th Nov.

  7. Submit the solutions / ideas (3-5 min demo video link / 5-8 presentation slides) by the end of 18th Nov. 2020

  8. Finalist announcement on 20th Dec. 2020

  • Final pitch on 16th March, 2021 and an award for the winners on 17th March, 2021 during DIHAD

Please contact us at for registration if you have any inquiries or don’t receive confirmation email.

Who can participate?

Students & Startups from UAE, GCC and rest of the world.

Humanitarian Hackathon Schedule

17 November 2020

08:45 – 09:00:  Log in

9:00 – 10:30: Kickoff Messages, Presentations, Welcoming Speeches

  • Dubai Future Council on Humanitarian Aid
  • Sabine Holl, Vice President Technical Sales & Chief Technology Officer, IBM Middle East and Africa
  • Abdul Salam Al Madani, Chairman, INDEX Holding, Executive Chairman, DIHAD & DISAB
  • Presentations from Humanitarian Challenges Providers
    • 1st Challenge “The Shortage of Human Resources for Healthcare Crisis” supported by Noor Dubai
    • 2nd Challenge “Water Scarcity and Accessibility to Clean Water” supported by UAE Water Aid Foundation (SUQIA)
    • 3rd Challenge “The Digital Literacy Divide Between E-learners: How to Narrow the Gaps” supported by Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières
    • 4th Challenge “Overcoming Challenges to the Inclusion of Beneficiaries with Disabilities in Emergencies” supported by International Humanitarian City
    • 5th Challenge “Distance Learning Challenges, in Developing Countries in a Post COVID-19 World” supported by Dubai Cares

11:00                  Start Hacking!

11:30 – 11:45:  Introduction to IBM Team

12:00 – 13:00:  IBM Developer Workshop “Create a Voice-enabled Crisis Communication Chatbot using Node-RED”

15:00 – 15:45: 

  • “AI & Prediction of Crises” by Scott Nowson, Artificial Intelligence Lead at PwC Middle East
  • “Use of Robotics in Field Hospitals” by Mervat Al Hashimi, Health and Informatics, DHA

20:00                 Solid Ideas To Be Materialized by the Participating Teams  

18 November 2020

06:00 – 09:30      Hacking & Teamwork

09:30 – 11:00      Checkpoint 2: Meet the Mentors

Meet a dynamic team of industry experts, developers, executives, and many facets of the humanitarian and tech community for sharing your ideas, solutions, and POCs. We’ll be using DIHAD International Humanitarian Hackathon community on Slack and only team leaders from each team will be invited with email addresses that you submitted in team registration. **Please contact us if you did not receive or face any issue

Video calls won’t be available on Slack but please feel free to communicate with mentors and organizer on Slack.

13:00 – 13:15      “Funding Crises Response” by Abdulla Al Nuaimi, Founder – YallaGive

13:15 – 13:30       “Mental Health in Crises” by Jayroop Ramesh, Winner of the Dubai Health Hackathon

Hacking Continue

15:00 – 15:15      “Supply Chain Management across the world during crises” by Bouran Najem, Head of Logistics & Humanitarian Initiatives, International Humanitarian City IHC

15:15 – 15:30      “3D Printing for Medical Personal Protective Equipments” by Dr. Fatma Alsaleh, DHA

16:00 – 17:30    Checkpoint 3: Meet the Mentors

Hacking Continue

18:00 – 24:00    Submit the solutions / ideas

  • Participating teams can submit max 2 submissions for 2 different challenges
  • Guide for the submission of entries
    • Login with your username & password (portal and login information will be sent to team leaders by email on 15th or 16th November, 2020.
    • Select ‘Submissions’ | Create New Submission
    • Choose ‘Hackathon’ in the Submission Type
    • Enter all the required details
    • Upload your submission (choose from the 2 options)
      • Powerpoint Presentation (PowerPoint presentation should include voice over with explanation (max 8 slides); File must be ppt,pptx, maximum size 50mb
      • Web Links to the Presentation & Demo Video (Video should be submitted through a direct link (youtube, Vimeo, or others), max 5 minutes. Download link will not be accepted.
Jury Members
Khalid Abdulla Al Awadhi

Khalid Abdulla Al Awadhi
Deputy CEO
International Humanitarian City


Dr. Eesa Mohammed Bastaki
University of Dubai

Moosa Khoory
Head of Sharia
Dubai Islamic Bank


Benita Rowe
Digital Development &
Technology Specialist


Abdulla Khoory
Grant Manager Expo Live
Expo 2020 Dubai

Sabine Holl
Vice President Technical Sales & Chief Technology Officer
IBM Middle East and Africa

Abdulla Al Nuaimi

Abdulla Al Nuaimi


Bouran Najem
Head of Logistics & Humanitarian Initiatives
International Humanitarian City


Mike Dawson
Ustad Mobile


Begona Agueda
Corporate Citizenship Lead – Middle East

Anam Mahmood
Developer Advocate


José Mussi
Senior Director
Digital Health and Innovation, PwC ME


Lina Shadid
Health Industries Lead Partner

Fawaz Siddiqi
Developer Advocate

Sidra Ahmed
Developer Advocate

Dr. Fatma Salem Al Saleh

Dr. Fatma Salem Al Saleh
Acting Head of Dental Lab Unit

Dr Scott Nowson

Dr. Scott Nowson
Artificial Intelligence Lead
PwC Middle East

Abdulla Al Nuaimi

Abdulla Al Nuaimi

Jayroop Ramesh

Jayroop Ramesh
Co-founder at Mindspire, Graduate Research Assistant
American University of Sharjah


Bouran Najem
Head of Logistics & Humanitarian Initiatives
International Humanitarian City

Mirfat Ali Alhashmi
Chief Clinical Health Information Analyst

Judging Criteria

User Experience/Design


Innovation / “Wow” Factor


Impact / Potential / Sustainability





Available Resources
Mentorship including IBM, IBM Cloud, detail documents of humanitarian challenges, and more to be updated.
Terms and Code of Conduct

Click here to review the terms and code of conduct