Volunteers Amal and Anjali lead innovative hackathon

By: Brier Published: 19/01/2022

Following the Nutrition for Growth Summit in December 2021, co-leaders for Results Canada's Online Group, Amal and Anjali, hosted the first-ever Resultsathon on December 11-12! The volunteer-led hackathon event provided a unique problem-solving opportunity for volunteers to share and broaden their knowledge of advocacy work by creating innovative solutions to address the global challenges of malnutrition. 

Volunteers collaborated in small groups to creatively 'hack' and think of new advocacy tools and approaches which could improve Canada’s commitments next time (Canada must continue to step up!). Through all the stages of planning and executing the event, the co-leaders encouraged volunteers to use their own decision-making and team-building skills to problem solve and brainstorm together. 

“There were no limits or restrictions for creating a hackathon project - whether pitching the idea of a toolkit or suggesting changes to the layout of a webinar to incorporate an inclusive lens - the direction of their projects was entirely up to the volunteers”, said Anjali. 

As a result, two amazing projects were developed at the event. Participants Abiola and Nancy made a research framework together, highlighting the case of malnutrition in children and women in Nigeria. The hope of this project is to use this framework as an advocacy tool to develop an op-ed about the topic in the future.  

Abiola shared her reasoning behind the project: “Being a mom myself, I could easily put myself in those shoes, knowing the importance of a woman's nutrition for the proper growth of a child. Women naturally are graciously designated to supply nutrients to the child through the placenta pre-birth and breastfeeding post-birth. Therefore, external factors that affect the quality and quantity of nutrients in their dietary intake must be tackled. Poverty is one factor and that is the reason engaging in nutrition improvement advocacy efforts for those experiencing poverty, especially women and children, is prioritized”. 

The other project led by Molly titled Mollorama included a new approach to how we can expand advocacy for Canada’s nutrition investment to engage people outside of the Results Canada network. The project includes interactive posters with QR codes that give more information and links to a Results’ call-to-action webpage. Not only could this be used to better spread the call-to-action, but it is also a way to recruit volunteers and advertise upcoming Results events.  

“Project Mollorama did a great job at highlighting a new approach to advocacy never before seen at Results! QR codes in public places is an ingenious way of getting people to take action who may otherwise have never heard of us!” said Camille, Public Engagement staff, Results. 

The Resultsathon was successful in providing tools, resources, and a platform for volunteers to discover impactful, actionable solutions, yet the co-leaders experienced some challenges: “As a volunteer-led event, there were logistical issues, especially considering the online coordination of the event”, said Amal. “However, looking at the larger goal of creating a space for education, learning, and working on advocacy, we really followed through.” 

“Seeing and hearing from other volunteers was highly gratifying, and everyone learned a lot from the process - from the participants, attendees, and hosts,” added Anjali. 

“We only hope that Results Canada volunteers are more confident from the hackathon, remain passionate, and continue to learn, grow, and share their creative ideas to ensure positive advocacy results,” concluded Amal.

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