UNDP Calls For Applications For The COVID-19 Protect & Detect Challenge

Farai Mudzingwa Avatar

COVID-19 is an unprecedented global health and humanitarian emergency. It threatens to create devastating social, economic, and political crises that could leave deep scars for years to come. This impact could reverse the progress made in tackling global poverty over the past 20 years, putting at risk the lives and livelihoods of billions of people.

In addition to the many lives at stake, developing countries could lose at least US$220 billion in income. COVID-19 could have an enormous and tragic longer-term impact, with the potential for mass unemployment, the further weakening of already-fragile health systems; and the risk of increasing inequality, marginalization, and poverty. In some of the world’s most vulnerable areas, the impact of COVID-19 could be catastrophic. 

COVID-19 Detect & Protect Challenge

This extraordinary global situation demands a global response. As an answer, the United Nations Development Programme and Hackster.io are joining forces with the world’s brightest technology companies. We are calling on hardware and software developers, product designers, scientists, hackers, makers, and innovators to come together to work for those who will be hardest hit by this pandemic. 

The COVID-19 Detect and Protect Challenge is an opportunity to find and apply the best and brightest of humanity, wherever it may be found.

The challenge has 3 priority actions;

  1. Design replicable, low-cost tools to aid in coronavirus detection;
  2. Flatten the curve in communities with preventive solutions;
  3. Reduce the disease’s impact on economies of these vulnerable areas.

A panel of judges will review and select the top 10 open source solutions on a rolling basis through 2020. Winners will receive global recognition and variety of awards for their contribution to society and humankind. Using the UNDP’s vast global network and resources from all supporting partners, we’ll work with the winning creators on the best way to transfer the knowledge to those who need it most


  • Qualified submissions will be fully shared and open throughout the contest.
  • Project teams are welcomed and not limited to any number.
  • The deadline for entries is June 30th and will be extended only if necessary.

Apply for UNDP & Hackster.io COVID-19 Detect and Protect challenge

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