UNESCO Announces Hacking Disinfodemic Competition

COVID-19 has confronted the world with a new wave of disinformation. As a result, the media and information literate youth have a pivotal role to play to resolve this challenge. This is why UNESCO announces Hacking Disinfodemic competition. HackingDisinfodemic is a global competition on MIL targeting youth, organized in the framework of Global MIL Week 2020, which will be commemorated from 24 to 31 October. It will be under the theme of “Resisting Disinfodemic: Media and Information Literacy for Everyone and by Everyone”.

Therefore, UNESCO and partners are calling on youth worldwide to participate in this four-week virtual hackathon to design innovative solutions to disinfodemic and related online challenges. The hackathon will follow the theme of MIL against disinfodemic. It complements the mainstreaming of young men and women in the Global MIL Week In-Focus Sessions by enabling more significant youth leadership.

Youth from local schools, universities, youth centres and youth organizations, as well as youth leaders from around the globe, can participate. The winning teams and the outcome of the Hackathon will be presented during a dedicated online Press Conference on 27 October 2020.


Any person or group of persons between 18 and 35 years and adheres to the values of UNESCO* can participate. In addition, no previous coding background is required. However, experience and expertise in game, mobile application, website and radio development would be an asset.

Task and challenges

Participants will need to design innovative and creative solutions to one of the three challenges below:

  1. Media and information literacy to counter the COVID-19 disinfodemic
  2. The Media and information literacy to fight discrimination
  3. Media and information literacy to combat online privacy and data protection infringements

Solution categories

You will find below the solution categories

  1. Game
  2. Application / Website
  3. Radio programme / Podcast
  4. Creative community-based intervention (non-technology focused)

Submission format

Participants need to submit a prototype of the solution and a 3-minute video pitch (a creative format is strongly recommended). This should show:

  • Problem statement, objectives and alignment with one of the three challenges
  • Explanation of the prototype
  • Feasibility
  • Audience
  • Deployment strategies
  • Business model and evidence of market validation
  • Sustainability

Mentoring modules

  1. Media and information literacy
  2. Prototyping, pitching, and storytelling
  3. Game development
  4. App development
  5. Website development
  6. Radio programming
  7. Innovating with or without new technology


The jury members will include representatives from UNESCO, Republic of Korea, World Health Organization, United Nations Population Fund, the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP), IBM, Twitter, the UNESCO MIL Alliance, and the UNESCO-UNAOC MIL and Intercultural Dialogue University Network.

What are the evaluation criteria?

  • Consistency
  • Excellence
  • Feasibility and Sustainability
  • Potential Impact

Winning teams’ gain

The winning team will gain the following:

  • Opportunity to pre-launch the projects globally during an online press conference
  • Interviews with potential donors and partners
  • Invitation to UNESCO’s Global MIL Week 2021 Feature Events
  • Two-day mentoring offered by a team of world-class MIL and game experts
  • A participation certificate from UNESCO and the Republic of Korea
  • Recognition through a UNESCO press release and various channels

Competition timeline

  • 5-12 October 2020: Call for applications
  • 13 October 2020: Announcement of shortlisted participants
  • 14-15 October 2020: Two-day mentoring on MIL and the hackathon
  • 16 and 19 October 2020: Two-day hacking
  • 19 October 2020: Submission of pitches
  • 20-23 October 2020: Judging process
  • 23 October 2020: Announcement of winners
  • 27 October 2020: Press Conference “Youth Tackling the Disinfodemic: Outcome of the Global MIL Youth Hackathon”

For More Information, visit the Official Webpage of the UNESCO Hacking Disinfodemic Global Media and Information Literacy Youth Hackathon 2020.

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About Emmanuel Oluwatosin

Co-founder & Publisher of AfricaX. He is interested in: Technology | Media | Startup | Business | Education. Emmanuel currently lives in Calgary, Canada with his family.

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