GIS 4 Refugees

GIS 4 Refugees Hackathon Kampala (Win Upto UGX1.5M)

Geo Gecko is a lean innovative company that uses powerful tools like geographic information systems (GIS), object based classification tools, satellite imagery analysis, and business intelligence software to provide you with the evidence you need to understand your world and make the right decision.

Informed decision-making requires high-quality data and information. This, however, is lacking in Uganda and East Africa, where its need is great. In its absence, resources are used inefficiently, decisions are made on hunches rather than evidence and development is slowed. Geo Gecko was established to fill this gap. We source, process and analyze existing data and create our own data to provide decision-makers with tangible and understandable geo-intelligence tools.

The Crisis

Uganda is hosting over 1.3m refugees. Its refugee policy is internationally recognized as the worlds’ most compassionate and progressive. The situation is not without its challenges. Providing services like health and education, measuring environmental impact and addressing host population issues are difficult to address in a fast moving and data-deficient context.

Geomatics tools can be used to optimize the response. With extensive data, satellite imagery and powerful tools, new and innovative solutions are possible. The AGRC and Geo Gecko will host a hackathon to identify how GIS, satellite imagery, and geomatics can support decision-making in refugee contexts.

GIS 4 Refugees Hackathon

  • Objective: Develop a GIS poster which addresses a refugee issue.
  • Pre-register by 28th July on
  • Deadline for email submission: 1st August
  • Submit soft copy in PDF format and A1 size.
  • Students participating will receive a specially subsidized conference fee of 50,000/= payable at the AGRC 2017 Secretariat (Room 3029, New CEDAT Building, Makerere University).


  • Competitors must be graduate or undergraduate students in a Ugandan university.
  • Competitors may compete individually or form a team of maximum two persons. Prize money will be divided evenly between those listed on the poster.


  • 1st Prize – UGX 1,500,000/-
  • 2nd Prize – UGX 1,000,000/-
  • 3rd Prize – UGX 350,000/-

Judging Criteria

A panel of specialists will review the posters according to the below criteria:

  • Technical approach
  • Practical application
  • Innovation
  • Design

All maps must include title, legend, north arrow, scale bar, and information box including author (s), university affiliation, date, and data sources.

Project presentation must answer the following questions:

  • What research question(s) are you trying to answer?
  • How or where did you acquire your data?  Describe the data used in your analysis.
  • How is GIS used to analyze your data and answer your research questions?
  • What are your results?  Make sure your final map demonstrates these results.

If ALL competition criteria outlined above are not fulfilled, the contest entry will NOT be eligible.

Data Suggestions

It is not a requirement but the below data may be used

  • Daily arrivals of refugees: link (UNHCR source)
  • Refugees per district: link (UNHCR source)
  • Host populations and refugees link (UNHCR source)
  • Sentinel satellite imagery
  • Landsat
  • 2014 Uganda Census

For assistance or any further questions kindly email to


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