Tajikistan hackathon yields innovative ideas to support women with HIV

At a UN Women organised event, teams from diverse work and life backgrounds generate projects to improve the lives of women living with HIV.

Date: Wednesday, May 29, 2019

The opening remark and presentations at the event. Photo: LLC KTM (Kashfiyot Takhlil Mashvarat)
The opening remark and presentations at the event. Photo: LLC KTM (Kashfiyot Takhlil Mashvarat)

An electronic labour exchange, a professional skills development project and a mobile app were recognised as outstanding ideas at the first hackathon to generate ideas to improve the lives of women living with HIV in Tajikistan.

Held on 29-30 April in Guliston, a small town about 320 km northeast of Dushanbe, the national capital, the UN Women in Tajikistan organized hackathon brought together more than 60 HIV experts, IT specialists, and representatives from the Tajikistan Network of Women Living with HIV, youth organizations, government agencies, the media and international NGOs.

To generate a breadth of innovative ideas and fresh perspectives, hackathon participants were divided into nine teams of people from different backgrounds and careers, including women living with HIV.

“Our team included journalists, NGO workers, a lawyer and IT specialists. This gave us a comprehensive look at the problem of women living with HIV and enabled us to develop a project in short period of time,” said Mohira Urakova, a hackathon participant. “We very much want more events like this.”

 “These two days totally changed me and my attitude towards my condition,” from the Tajikistan Network of Women Living with HIV (TNW+). “Participants not only tried to understand my experience, needs and difficulties, they were willing to work with us to solve them together. I hope our initiative will help me and my friends.’’

Participants at the event. Photo: LLC KTM (Kashfiyot Takhlil Mashvarat)
Participants at the event. Photo: LLC KTM (Kashfiyot Takhlil Mashvarat)

Following a competition, three projects were chosen for further development.

The Podderzhka (Support) Team developed “Imkoni Kor” (Employment Opportunity), an electronic labour exchange website to mitigate stigma and employment discrimination for HIV-positive women.

The Dostoynaya Zhizn (Decent Life) Team proposed a start-up project to improve the quality of lives, professional skills and personal development of women affected by HIV, while the Lolai Umed (Tulip of Hope) Team developed a mobile application to promote access of HIV-positive women to healthcare, legal, psychological and social services, by ensuring anonymity and confidentiality.

“This hackathon was excellent. It generated many interesting ideas to support HIV-positive women, improve their education, and change attitudes towards them,” said Alina Yaroslavskaya, from the Eurasian . “We need new ideas for women living with HIV in Tajikistan, and bringing together women with HIV and their organizations and people with innovative ideas and fresh perspectives helped develop some promising ones.”

UN Women supports strategic actions to achieve gender equality and eliminate all forms of violence against women, key elements to an efficient response to HIV. UN Women in Tajikistan provides technical support to the Tajikistan Network of HIV-Positive Women (TNW+) so that the TNW+ can effectively participate in the national response to HIV and improve the quality of lives of women and girls affected by HIV.