The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is looking for the most talented young coders and innovation enthusiasts from the Arab Region to develop technology-based solutions to tackle corruption and advance peace, justice and strong institutions!

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If you are eligible and interested, you can apply as an individual participant or as part of a pre-formed team of up to 6 team members!



In order to respond to growing interest into the area of digital innovation as catalyser of youth action against corruption, in 2021 the Global Resource for Anti-Corruption Education and Youth Empowerment (GRACE) initiative of UNODC has launched the “Coding4Integrity” youth anti-corruption hackathon series, which aims to seize the energy and potential of youth to innovate and develop technological solutions for corruption-related problems that affect their communities.


Hackathons, as programmes that stand between digital innovation and social entrepreneurship, indeed provide an opportunity for young people to enhance their knowledge on corruption-related topics, as well as strengthen their social, leadership and technical skills. In this regard, GRACE engages with a rich network of partners, from both the public and private sectors to provide a well-rounded and meaningful experience to all young coders, as well as a possibility to see their tech-based solutions being developed and potentially adopted by varied stakeholders.

In the margins of the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), UNODC is joining forces with the Administrative Control and Transparency Authority (ACTA) of the State of Qatar, and Microsoft, to organize the Coding4Integrity Arab Youth Anti-Corruption Hackathon!


The Coding4Integrity series will indeed fly to Doha, Qatar, and it will target young software developers and IT enthusiasts from the following countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Oman, Qatar, Morocco, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, Yemen, UAE.

The hackathon is a hybrid event consisting of:

1) A five-days online “Bootcamp” [1], held from 27 to 31 August 2023, where participants will receive training on relevant topics;

2) A five-days in-person coding challenge that will take place in Doha, Qatar, from 10 to 14 September 2023. (The venue of the in-person competition will be communicated to participants in advance)

The winning teams will have the opportunity to further develop the proposed technology solution with the support of the partners of the hackathon seeking to increase the use of ICT solutions as part of their anti-corruption efforts.

[1] A Bootcamp is an immersion training, with the purpose of improving skills essential to the participation in the Hackathon. Such activity can include short training modules related to, for example: programming, marketing and communication, theories of corruption and integrity, among others.


The target beneficiaries of the hackathon are young computer engineers or software developers that respond to the below eligibility criteria:

 are nationals and residents of the following countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Oman, Qatar, Morocco, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, Yemen, UAE

 are between 18 and 30 years old

 are in possession of a valid passport with expiration date not earlier than July 2024

 are able to commit to the entire hackathon program, both online and in-person

 are fluent in written and spoken Arabic and English, with optional proficiency in French

 preferably have communication and design skills

 are interested and/or passionate about using technology to design digitally innovative solutions and have great energy to promote integrity and tackle corruption issues

 have basic coding skills and some experience with one or more development technologies

 have knowledge of main technology development platforms (both web and mobile development)

 are in possession of a functioning laptop and able to bring it to Doha, Qatar

 Knowledge of UNODC Module Series on Anti-Corruption and UNODC Module Series on Integrity and Ethics is not mandatory but it will be considered an asset.

Participants are encouraged to apply as a pre-formed teams of up to 6 members. In an effort to streamline gender equality, young women are particularly encouraged to apply. Applications of qualified teams with at least 3 qualified female members will be favoured.

As an alternative, individual applicants are also welcomed to apply and, in such cases, UNODC will be grouping selected individual applicants into teams.

For application purposes, it is not necessary to have an advanced prototype idea, but it is nonetheless recommended that the applicants have an idea of which challenge, among the given ones, they would like to tackle.


The hackathon participants will be asked to develop an ICT-based idea or solution that addresses one of the following challenges related to the promotion of anti-corruption, ethics and integrity in the Arab Region:


Transparency in public procurement


Whistle-blowing promotion and protection


Safeguarding sport from corruption


Reporting corruption linked to water management


Strengthening private sector resilience to corruption


Innovating education

Challenge 1 – Transparency in public procurement: strengthening the integrity of public procurement processes

To ensure transparency, competition and integrity in public procurement processes, it is necessary for public procurement systems to clearly, openly and efficiently distribute information relating to the procedures in place in the country, including details about contracting, invitations to tender as well as awarding. Such transparency is a fundamental measure to ensure public administration is free from unlawful conflict of interest and bribery of public officials involved in the process.

Not only such information shall be clear and properly communicated on, but potential bidders shall have necessary time to plan their bid application to participate to the procurement process.

A procurement system that lacks this necessary level of transparency and competition is the ideal breeding ground for corrupt behaviour.

Your challenge is to develop an application or other technological solution that allows potential bidders in the Arab Region to speedily access all needed information about the public procurement, including terms of reference, conditions of entry into process, info on goods or services needed by the Government, timing of process, selection criteria, monitoring and reporting needs and all needed details, so to adequately plan their participation in the bid process. In this way, the company can also assess the risks of participating in the process and request the necessary clarifications before submitting its bid.

Your target audience is a company or association based in the Arab Region that wants to participate in a public procurement process.

Challenge 2 – Whistle-blowing promotion and protection: innovating the reporting of corruption and the safeguard of whistle-blowers

Effective reporting mechanisms are recognized as one of the strongest measures to detect and prevent corruption. For women and other groups particularly vulnerable to corruption, the lack of protection, fear of retaliation and low level of confidentiality can negatively influence their decision to report corruption cases.

Reporting systems shall also consider separating the function of investigating the substance of a disclosure from whistle-blowers from any complaints of reprisals against the whistle-blower him/herself. Doing so minimizes conflict of interest and maximizes task specialization.

Your challenge is to develop a simple and accessible technological solution aimed at promoting the reporting of corruption with an inclusive and gender-sensitive focus, offering women and other vulnerable groups the opportunity to report acts of corruption, while protecting their identity and guaranteeing the confidentiality of their information.

Challenge 3 – Safeguarding sports from corruption: using technology to detect match-fixing on and off the field of play

Sport is a catalyst for the development of peaceful societies. Simultaneously sport represent a great social and cultural aspect of our daily lives and it has a sizeable impact on the economics of many sport clubs and, by natural consequence, many countries’ economies.

Tackling corruption in sport is recognized internationally as key to protecting sport and strengthening its integrity. The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), the only legally binding universal anti-corruption instrument, promotes a far-reaching approach and the mandatory character of many of its provisions makes it a unique tool for developing a comprehensive response to a global problem, including related to sports.

While sport can be undermined by many different forms of threat, competition manipulation, also known as match-fixing, is a unique to sport. However, it also has linkages to illegal betting, money-laundering and transnational organized crime. technology offers innovative ways to gather, analyse and use complex data so to effectively detect, identify, investigate and fight corruption in sports, and competition in particular.

Your challenge is to develop a technological solution aimed at preventing the threat of competition manipulation by helping criminal justice authorities and relevant officials from sports organizations to detect it. This could involve the use of technology to:

  • monitor betting markets for strange betting patterns
  • analyse teams, athletes, referees, or sport clubs for atypical performances
  • facilitate reporting of competition manipulation attempts by relevant stakeholders (e.g., referees, players, athletes, coaches etc.)
  • track how performance data is packed and sold on to third parties.

Challenge 4 – Reporting corruption linked to water management: safeguarding a valuable resource from corruption

Water is becoming scarcer in many parts of the world, leading to conflicts and, at times, forced migration. Therefore, water resources need to be managed efficiently, effectively, and equitably. However, corruption can have a severe impact on water management. It can result in a lack of access to safe drinking water for communities, inadequate water treatment and distribution infrastructure, and poor maintenance of the existing water system.

Your challenge is to develop a simple and accessible technological solution to prompt more citizens to report acts of corruption linked to water management easily. From citizens quickly reporting illegal charges to access water to citizens reporting the unequal distribution of water resources.

Challenge 5 – Strengthening private sector resilience to corruption: a gender-sensitive approach

Companies are often unaware of the impacts of the absence of wide gender mainstreaming on female employees’ vulnerability to malpractices, such as engagement in gender-related bribery and other forms of corruption, such as sexual corruption.

Your challenge is to create an innovative solution to empower women against sexual corruption and gender-related bribery in the private sector.

Challenge 6 – Innovating education: ensuring the digitalization of educational systems upholds values of integrity, ethics and transparency

The exponential technological progress in the past few years has put our educational systems to a test. With the recent developments in AI, the race between smart machines and educated white collar workers has officially begun. At the same time, the educational systems in many parts of the world are still struggling to ensure access to basic quality education for all.

The digitalisation of education, coupled with methodological innovations that aim at addressing those shortcomings, has been the focus of many private, public and academia actors.

With this in mind, we are challenging you to address an important aspect of this EdTech revolution – how to ensure integrity, ethics and transparency are upheld within the existing and future knowledge systems. This is truly fundamental, as if we fail to embrace ethics at the level of our educational institutions, we are likely to fail elsewhere.

For this challenge you will be enjoying the support and the potential awards from the actors behind the brand new “Knowledge Token”. Initiated by the Knowledge Foundation, and developed jointly by world’s leading educational institutions like MIT, University of Oxford and University of Zurich, it is a digital participation and achievement token that is awarded to learners in exchange for intellectual achievements.

By successfully completing this challenge, you will have the chance to become one of the first owners of the Knowledge Token.

Technical support will be provided by the Knowledge Foundation / Knowledge Token collaborators:

  • Immersive Education Initiative
  • Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts
  • MIT Bitcoin Club
  • University College Oxford Blockchain Research Centre
  • Yale University Blockchain Club
  • University of Zurich Blockchain Center


The teams are encouraged, but not constrained, to have a diverse skillset, including within the following areas:

  • ICT and coding: programming and development of systems and technological solutions, either by the implementation of new codes or by structuring and composing solutions that meet the proposed challenges by using mobile and web development tools (for instance, Java, Javascript, Python or C++, etc.), as well as low-tech solutions (such as chatbots, data visualization, maps).
  • Design (optional): using design tools for visual communication, including concern for user experience (UX). Dynamicity and creativity are particularly encouraged to represent the team’s ideas with the most adapted tools.
  • Business (optional): business modelling and development of value proposition. Creativity and innovation are appreciated to establish strategies for developing products or services with an efficient business model and analysing the risks for the viability of the project, and mobilizing the necessary resources.
  • Subject matter (optional): understanding the complex topic of Corruption and how it affects the promotion of peaceful and stronger institutions. Training materials are available on the GRACE website.

Up to 150 coders will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis.

In case the number of applicants exceeds the total of available seats, teams and individual applicants will be selected according to the following criteria:

  • Equitable geographic representation
  • Gender parity
  • Diversity in terms of members’ knowledge and background

Each team will work in one of the following tracks based on the type of technology that the team will create:

  • Track 1: Blockchain developing
  • Track 2: AI developing
  • Track 3: Mobile developing
  • Track 4: Low-tech solutions (such as chatbots, data visualization, maps)


The application to join CODING4INTEGRITY in Doha is open from 6 March to 28 May 2023.

Selected applicants will receive confirmation of their successful application by 15 June 2023 and must confirm interest by sending all requested documentations before 21 June 2023, midnight CET.

Unsuccessful applicants will receive regret notice by 22 June 2023.

Selected participants must participate in an online training (Bootcamp) held from 27 to 31 August 2023. The Bootcamp will be in Arabic and English language.

From 3 to 7 September 2023 an on-call distance helpdesk will be made available to selected participants, so to provide technical support and help kick-start their solution ideation, if needed.

The hackathon competition will be held in-person from 10 to 14 September 2023 in Doha, Qatar. The venue of the event will be confirmed in due course to the participants.

Please note that the hackathon competition will be held in Arabic with potential English speaking guest speeches.

The hackathon winners will be announced on 14 September 2023, at the end of the coding marathon, during an awarding ceremony, with the attendance of relevant public authorities and stakeholders.

Mentorship, product ideation, and technical webinars will be organized during the hackathon.


The team will be responsible for presenting a final “elevator pitch” of up to 2 (two) minutes, which should be guided by specific evaluation criteria. The team may use support tools, such as slide presentation, audio, video, or animation of its team and/or the prototype.

Based on the pitch presentation, a judging panel composed of experts from different areas will select, among the prototypes presented, the Top 3 winning solutions according to the following criteria:

  1. Creativity and originality: how innovative and unique the solution is concerning the thematic proposal of the challenge, not presenting just a copy of other solutions.
  2. Quality and functionality: technical evaluation of the quality of the solution’s functionalities based on the material presented.
  3. Applicability: the potential of the project to solve the problems related to the selected challenge.
  4. Technology: the potential technological and disruptive impact of the solution.
  5. Scalability and market: the potential for reception and scalability of the solution in the Region and/or globally.

All the criteria described above have equal weight in the evaluation process.

Each criterion will receive, from the evaluator, a score between 0 and 4, with 0 meaning no adherence to the criterion and 4 meaning total adherence to the criterion.

The proposal’s final score will be the sum of the judges scores divided by the number of judges. The organizing team reserves the right to disclose or not the scores applied by the judging Team.

The decisions of the judging committee will be sovereign and unappealable.


The winning team (1st place) will have the opportunity to present the solution in the margins of the 10th session of the Conference of the States parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), which will take place in Atlanta, USA, from 11 to 15 December 2023. Travel and accommodation will be provided by UNODC, in accordance with UN standard regulations.

The Top 3 winning teams may receive the opportunity to enter the Microsoft Start Up Garage business development programme, to benefit from the mentorship of world top tech industry experts and further develop their winning solutions.

Furthermore, Top 3 winning teams may receive other financial and/or in-kind awards from public and/or private institutions interested in supporting the development and adoption of the proposed solution.

Finally, winning solutions related to Challenge 6 on Innovating Education, may receive developer grants to further build their prototype.


Upon registration, the participants grant and authorize the organizing team, free of charge, in a global, integral, permanent, irreversible, irrevocable, and exclusive way, all rights of use of image, name, and voice for dissemination of Coding4Integrity project, through all the media used in the events.


UNODC and the partners of Coding4Integrity are committed, at their highest level, to the promotion, safeguard and guarantee of human rights, gender equity, respect for diversity, and a culture of peace and rejection of violence.

By participating in the event, all participants, sponsors, partners, volunteers, and staff commit to ensuring respect for diversity in terms of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, physical appearance, nationality, ethnicity, or religion.


By participating in the event, all persons – participants, sponsors, partners, volunteers, and employees – commit to a zero-tolerance policy established by the organizing team regarding harassment.

In case of a report and confirmation of harassment of any nature, the perpetrator will be summarily removed from the project environment and prevented from returning. If the perpetrator is part of a competing team, the organisation will decide on the individual disqualification of the person responsible. There will be no team disqualification, except in cases of collective consent and acquiescence, by action or omission, to the practice of harassment.

For this purpose, harassment is defined as any offensive verbal or non-verbal comments related to gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, national origin, or religion, as well as sexual images, deliberate intimidation, stalking, photography or audio/video recording without consent, inappropriate physical contact, and unwanted sexual attention.

The organising team is committed to providing a safe and anonymous reporting environment.

If you are a young coder from the above mentioned participating countries, and you are interested in joining the hackathon,
please apply before 28 May 2023, midnight CET




Young software developers are encouraged to apply as a pre-formed team of up to 6 young participants, considering gender parity (at least 50% of women in each team is preferred).

If you are an individual looking for a team, or a team looking to complete their needed skills, we encourage you to apply, and we will help you find teammates. 


The hackathon is hybrid, meaning both online and in-person. The Bootcamp will be held virtually from 27 to 31 August 2023, whereas the actual challenge will be held in person in Doha, Qatar, from 10 to 14 September 2023. 


Your idea has to fall under one of the 6 thematic areas:

  1. Transparency in public procurement
  2. Whistle-blowing promotion and protection
  3. Safeguarding sport from corruption
  4. Reporting corruption linked to water management
  5. Strengthening private sector resilience to corruption
  6. Innovating education

Corruption is a complex social, political and economic phenomenon that affects all countries. Corruption undermines democratic institutions, slows down economic development, and contributes to governmental instability. Corruption attacks the foundation of democratic institutions by distorting electoral processes, perverting the rule of law, and creating bureaucratic quagmires whose only reason for existing is the solicitation of bribes. Economic development becomes stunted because of corruption since foreign direct investment is discouraged, and small businesses within the country often find it impossible to overcome the “start-up costs” required because of corruption.

You are encouraged to have a look at the GRACE Knowledge Hub materials, to familiarize yourself with key topics and notions. You are likewise invited to read the following background materials: 


For young software developers/coders, the prerequisite for taking part in the hackathon is to possess some basic programming skills. But no one expects you to be a seasoned coder to develop your idea. However, to impress the jury and maximize your chances of winning the hackathon, we encourage you to level up your coding skills in preparation for the hackathon. This will allow you to spend less time at the event on learning how to code (which isn’t bad, as hackathons are also about learning new things and skills), but instead, you will have more time to develop your ideas and skills. It will be important to build skills in one of the coding languages relevant for both mobile and web development (for instance, Java, Javascript, Python or C++ etc.), as well as the use of low-tech solutions (such as chatbots, data visualization, maps).


The objective of the hackathon is to give young developers the chance to develop their own ideas on promoting anti-corruption, integrity, transparency, ethics and integrity in the Arab Region through technology and digital innovation. The aim is to foster youth engagement in innovation and technology, as well as their employment. 


From a pitch presentation, the judging committee will evaluate your solutions based on the following criteria:

  1. Creativity and originality: how innovative and unique the solution is concerning the thematic proposal of the challenge, not presenting just a copy of other solutions.
  2. Quality and functionality: technical evaluation of the quality of the solution’s functionalities based on the material presented.
  3. Applicability: the potential of the project to solve the problems related to the selected challenge.
  4. Technology: the potential technological and disruptive impact of the solution.
  5. Scalability and market: the potential for reception and scalability of the solution in the private sector. 

We recommend that you follow these steps to help you develop the best idea:

  1. Choose a challenge from the above list that you are interested in. The more passionate you are about the theme, the higher your chances are to end up with an exciting and unique idea.
  2. Get to know the challenge’s theme, and do your research about it, if possible, before the start of the hackathon.
  3. To ensure the uniqueness of your idea, research what ICT solutions already exist to address the topics you have chosen for your project.
  4. Get inspired by other anti-corruption technologies that have been developed and aim for something new or a better version of what’s already out there.

Below are some examples (they are solely for giving you an idea of what other people are doing, please don’t copy them):

Make sure to click here to find more info on the Coding4Integrity hackathon series and to have a look at the winning solutions of the previous editions! 


Each team shall submit one project. No extra points will be awarded for additional submissions. 


There will be one winning team that will secure the participation to a UN sponsored international anti-corruption conference. The team with the highest score will be pronounced the winner of the hackathon and secure the eventual awards. The Top 3 best teams also will receive some awards.

The hackathon partners are welcome to provide awards also to other teams, but this decision rests with the partners present at the closing ceremony.


By no means will UNODC endorse or promote commercial products or services, applications or other ICT-based solutions that can be legitimately sold or licenced by their developers. Likewise, by no means will UNODC recommend or suggest that interested governments procure ICT products or services if not in compliance with their applicable laws and regulations.    

Under the present activity, the Hackathon, UNODC only aims to provide an incentive for young people to contribute to the anti-corruption cause, and an opportunity for the relevant Anti-Corruption authority of the participating country to receive and consider innovative and effective anti-corruption solutions. The solutions rights derived from this activity shall observe the domestic law in force.


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