We want YOU to help solve a global health problem!

The Hackathon has ended. Check out the winners here!

Did you know that more than a billion people worldwide are at risk of contracting neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)? These infections, left untreated, can lead to disability (including blindness and elephantiasis), stigma, and even death. Help us fight the battle to end NTDs (And win $500 for yourself, too)! 

NTD Hackathon

How? Are you an undergraduate or graduate student interested in addressing a real public health challenge facing NTD programs? Join us for a virtual hackathon event!

Teams will compete to win $500 per person and the opportunity to showcase their work in a virtual booth at the “Innovation Lab” trade show during the annual meeting of the Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases (COR-NTD), a global meeting of  researchers, program implementers and their in-country partners with the shared goal of optimizing NTD control and elimination. 


While NTD programs are reaching large numbers of people, they aren’t perfect. For example, NTDs are preventable and treatable, but oftentimes people are unwilling to accept treatment due to disturbing rumors or misinformation they have heard. The Task Force for Global Health is hosting a virtual hackathon, “Spread Truth, Not Disease,” on April 17 to solve this global health communication challenge that countries face today. 



Hackathon information packet email sent to participants 


All-Introduction webinar 9-10 a.m. EST

Teams-Breakout rooms that you can use to communicate with your team. 

    • You will be provided with contact information for an NTD advisor for your team. 


Project Presentation

    • Each team will be assigned a time to present their findings to our expert judges. 
    • Presentations should be 3-4 minutes in length in any format. 

Judging will take place and winners will be announced on the web site and via email. 


Graduate and undergraduate students (of any background--communications, business, public health, etc.) may sign up. Interested participants must be willing to attend 1-hour events on April 11, 17 and 18, and to participate in teamwork to solve the challenge between April 12 and 17. 


Registration is now closed. 


Do I need to find my own teammates?

You can sign up with teammates or you can sign up individually and be placed into a team. 

How many teams will there be?

A maximum of 25 teams, first come first served

Who can sign up?

Undergrad and graduate students who can compete during Eastern Standard Time hours.

How much does each winning team member receive? 

$500 each 

Is there information I can check out now on the subject?

Check out this webinar from the Global Schistosomiasis Alliance and COR-NTD about the challenges with misinformation. 

Is the NTD Support Center reaching out to our partners across the world to provide them equal access to the hackathon opportunity?

This hackathon event is a pilot. In devising a strategy for our first hackathon, we realized differing time zones would be a challenge for synchronous work. Therefore, this first event - while it is open to graduate and undergraduate students - will be held in the EST time zone, which we realize is a limiting factor for some partners worldwide. We have every intention of engaging a wider range of students and other interested parties in future events. 

Are people from countries with neglected tropical diseases involved?
YES! To devise the problem to be solved, we called upon the expertise of the brand new NTD Program Manager Community of Practice in Africa. That group suggested a list of five prospective topics, including the one that was chosen for this event. As a bonus - the topic they devised independently related directly to an issue discussed at a meeting we hosted last year (Fake News & Trust in NTD Health Programs). That session was proposed and led by a health researcher in Cameroon and featured first-hand stories from NTD programs about how fake news can derail the effort to treat and prevent NTDs.
Members of the Community of Practice will be our featured speakers at the hackathon in April and at least one will be a judge at the event. The hackathon winners will have a booth at our interactive Innovation Lab which takes place during our annual coalition meeting. The beauty of that session is that the exhibitioners are able to have one-on-one conversations with meeting participants - a significant portion of whom represent ministries of health and researchers in countries where NTDs are endemic. Who knows how the winning idea will evolve from there? We're excited to find out.

Program tools