Coronavirus (1016) Call for Applications - HackingDisinfodemic: a Global Media and Information Literacy Youth Hackathon

8 October, 2020

Forwarded from UNESCO. Comment from me below.


HackingDisinfodemic – a Global Media and Information Literacy Youth Hackathon

What can youth do to counter disinfodemic, using media and information literacy as a tool? HackingDisinfodemic – a Global Media and Information Literacy Youth Hackathon led by UNESCO and the Republic of Korea will seek to answer this question, in partnership with the World Health Organization, the United Nations Population Fund, the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP), and IBM. The call for applications is now launched globally.

Apply as an individual candidate or as a team:

Deadline: 12 October 2020, at 00:00 Paris time

See more details:

Task and challenges

Design innovative and creative solutions to one of the three challenges below:

Media and information literacy to counter the COVID-19 disinfodemic

Media and information literacy to fight discrimination

Media and information literacy to combat online privacy and data protection infringements

Solution categories

- Game

- Application/Website

- Radio programme/Podcast

- Creative community-based intervention (non-technology focused)

Winning teams will gain

- 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


Comment (NPW):

It is notable that WHO talks about the 'infodemic', a term that is now widely known worldwide, and which (by WHO's definition) lumps together accurate and inaccurate information. As we have discussed on HIFA, some of us find this unhelpful. Throughout the pandemic, UNESCO has been using the term 'disinfodemic' to focus on what they see as the key issue: disinformation. Disinformation implies the deliberate spreading of inaccurate information. I would argue that both approaches are missing the mark. Our focus should be on inaccurate information of all kinds, whether deliberate or otherwise.

As a result of visinting the above pages I came across a UNESCO report (apparently published in May 2020 - the date is not shown) that I had previously missed: 'Disinfodemic: Deciphering COVID-19 disinformation'

Here is a 'quick read':

The front cover says 'Access to reliable and accurate information is critical at the best of times, but during a crisis such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it can be a matter of life and death.'

I would go further: Access to reliable and accurate information is a matter of life and death every day, irrespective of whether there is a pandemic. 'In India, for example, three in five parents wrongly believe they should withhold fluids if their child develops diarrhoea, thereby tragically increasing their risk of death from dehydration - contributing to hundreds of avoidable deaths every day in India alone. Every single health decision and action, whether by parents, individuals, health workers or policymakers, is fundamentally dependent on their ability to access and apply reliable healthcare information - and to recognise and reject misinformation.'

Best wishes, Neil

Let's build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare information - Join HIFA:

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages in collaboration with WHO. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: