Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

29 mobile applications offering innovative ways of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals have been created by teams across Uzbekistan.

1 June 2020, Tashkent - After six months of intensive programming work, 29 teams of girls aged 10 to 18, living in the Andijan, Namangan, Nukus, Urgench and Tashkent regions of Uzbekistan, have submitted their mobile applications to the Technovation Girls global contest. Their entries address a range of prominent challenges including climate change, domestic violence, bullying, the unique problems faced by children of migrants, the creation of digital access to doctors, food waste disposal, and connecting volunteers with NGOs.  

The teams’ mobile applications have all been designed to help Uzbekistan achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Specifically they address SDG #2 (zero hunger)SDG #3 (good health and well-being)SDG #4 (quality education)SDG #5 (gender equality)SDG #8 (decent work and economic growth)SDG #11 (sustainable cities and communities)SDG #13 (climate action), and SDG #16 (peace, justice and strong institutions). Each team’s video pitch and project idea can be found at the dedicated Telegram channel.

Currently all of the teams from Uzbekistan and around the world are undergoing a first round of reviews by international judges. The Global Technovation Girls semifinalists will be announced in June, after which there will be a second round of online judging, and the ten finalist teams will be invited to an online World Pitch Summit taking place in August 2020.

From April the UNDP project ‘Empowering Women to Participate in Public Administration and Socio-Economic Life’ has run online IT trainings for mentors in Andijan, Fergana, Urgench and Nukus, who will go on to support future Technovation Girls teams. These trainings have taught best methods for providing technological mentorship, created a technovation IT curriculum, and supported regional teams in their IT-mentoring sessions. 50 IT mentors have taken part in the trainings, 23 of whom received certificates.

Through these trainings a number of challenges faced by regional teams and their mentors were identified, the most pressing being the lack of technological opportunities which prevents teams from completing their projects. To have a fair chance of success, all teams and their mentors should have good internet access, the use of devices including smartphones and computers, and be able to access uninterrupted power supplies. 

Technovation Girls is the world’ largest and most popular technology program for girls, of which Uzbekistan has taken part since 2016. The program’s participants create innovative mobile applications that solve problems related to SDGs, supported by professional mentors within the IT field. The final videos of the Technovation Girls Uzbekistan 2020 season can be found here in English, and here in Russian.

The Tech4Impact NGO coordinates the program in Uzbekistan, alongside national partners including the Youth Union of Uzbekistan, the Muhammad al-Khorazmi IT school, the Association of Support for Children and Families of Uzbekistan, and the Center for Advanced Technologies under the Ministry of Innovative Development of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Learn more at the national Technovation Girls websiteTelegram channelFacebook page, and Instagram page.

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