This third BCURE-Harvard policy dialogue focused on technological innovation and data-driven solutions in India, and in particular on innovative strategies for using data to improve transparency and effectiveness. It was held on April 18th and 19th at the American Center in Delhi.
PolicyHack brought together over 80 of India’s top developers and
software engineers to work with policy makers, representatives from
academia, and government partners to develop new tools and innovations
to create a more effective, efficient, and transparent government. The
event aimed to demonstrate how evidence-informed policy can be achieved
through collaborative projects that bring technological innovations to
policy stakeholders using the diverse perspective of a new generation of
Indian technology developers. These developers were presented with
policy problems across four policy tracks, each representing a different
policy problem that was posed by policy partners and developed in
collaboration with EPoD staff in India. These included:
1. Matching vocational trainees and willing employers, with DDU-GKY Skills Division, Ministry of Rural Development
2. Increasing transparency in education, with the Central Square Foundation
3. Water management in the city of Delhi, with the Delhi Dialogue Commission, Government of Delhi
4. Tracking and tackling the challenge of counterfeit products, Department of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution.
These policy tracks were designed in the months leading up to the event, and matched with relevant data sources. The policy partners also attended the opening session of PolicyHack to present their challenges and provide guidance in the developers’ research and development of a solution. Teams of coders spent almost two full days developing solutions to one of these particular policy track challenges. Some teams alternatively chose to pursue a fifth “open” track, in which the team was tasked with designing both the challenge and a solution using any open-source government data available.
Harvard University. BCURE India Policy Dialogue Report: PolicyHack. Held at the American Center in Delhi April 18-19, 2015. Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA (2015) 15 pp.