A group of young Malaysians made the nation proud after they were crowned champions in the first-ever AHAckathon organised by ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre).
Throughout the 48-hour hackathon, each team was tasked with proposing and developing a software or application-based solution to solve six human logistics challenges commonly faced by ASEAN governments.
Malaysia snagged the USD 2,000 (RM8285) cash prize after beating Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Myanmar, Philippines, Brunei and Thailand.
An all-in-one disaster relief solution app
Speaking to WeirdKaya, team member Jia Da shared a glimpse of their app named “SMART ASEAN Disaster Relief App (SMART ADRA)” which paved their way to victory.
We proposed an app that comes with a dashboard and a mobile phone app that serves six features to enhance the end-to-end process of disaster relief using artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Some of the key features in the app are news update, chatbox, and QR verification which aids victims in requesting for help and ease the food distribution process at the disaster area.”
He added that this idea came to the team after interviewing a flood victim who struggled in finding a shelter.
Jia Da also said that this year’s hackathon was a different and remarkable experience for him as he had the chance to interview real-life victims and experts from various fields.
“Through the interviews, the team was able to have a better understanding of the problem, thus allowing us to devise a solution that really meets their needs.
Some of us are first-timers and none of us had much knowledge in humanitarian logistic operations. Thankfully, the organiser provided much-needed opportunities and support for us,” he said.
‘Time management was an uphill task’
Another team member, Jason Beh, who’s a first-year IT student, also shared his personal experience and the main challenge the team faced during the competition.
“The main challenge would be the 48 hours. We had to come out with a solution from total scratch,” he said.
Team coordination and chemistry is of utmost importance, especially when it’s online.“
Despite the obstacle in communicating with their teammates via online platform, both Jason and Jia Da encouraged more young Malaysians to step up to the plate and participate in future hackathons to contribute to the country’s development.
Check out the video presentation of their app here:
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Cover images from Oscar Ling, Jia Da and Jason Beh (Provided to WeirdKaya)
Editor: Sarah Yeoh