Welcome to #DevPolHack

Welcome to a worldwide network of development experts, policy makers, innovation enthusiasts, educators and connectors, all committed to one mission: using co-creation and hacking to make this world a better place for all. 

We started with #DevPolHack in 2021.  

The methodology we used was informed and inspired by Helvetas Advocacy Toolbox. 

In the course of 3 years, we organized 3 hackathons and tackled 3 real-life challenges. We will continue to organize hackathons and update this toolbox with new learnings. Every event, every process, every interaction was different. But through reflection and feedback, we mapped out the most important DNA that follows every co-creation we do – and now, we wish to share it with all of you.

What’s the #DevPolHack toolbox?

The word “toolbox” literally means a box containing tools, materials and practiced maneuvers in a variety of conditionsThe #DevPolHack Toolbox is in the same way a toolbox for your team, communities, beneficiaries and partners to design the environment, process and support system for creating collective, joint solutions that will change the worldConsider it the guiding stars by which you’ll chart your course. 

Who is it for?

Anyone involved in looking for solutions, whether in the form of products, projects or services. This includes Helvetas Organizers and teams but also everyone in the field of international aid, governments, public authorities, private sector and civil society.  

There are also resources for you to share with broader communities or teams.  

When to read?

Early and oftenWe suggest that each participant involved in organizing or participating in a virtual #devpolhack should read the whole toolbox and then revisit sections (and resources) that pertain only to their designated role. 

How to read?

First off, let’s acknowledge that the #DevPolHack Toolbox is a robust resource (read: it’s kinda long). That being said, we recommend that you read it in the order of the numbered chapters, but in case you already have experience with it, and you are looking for a very precise detail or tip, hit the search function. 

If this is your first time reading and diving in the content, we recommend you to get the big picture first, meaning do not click through the links to other pages during your first read. Instead move through each document, until complete. Then later, revisit the pages and click through the support links at that time.  

Lastly, please keep in mind that this toolbox encompasses different roles and perspectives of the DevPolHack experience. So whether you are a participant, or a challenge host (Innovation Partner), an organizer or a mentor, we made sure that you find valuable content that will support your experience.  

How to access + engage with it?

You’ve received this Overview of the #DevPolHack Toolbox. The whole entirety of the toolbox is on this link. Some concrete examples or templates may lead you to Miro, Jamboard or other support platforms. You will be able to download them or engage with them at your own speed. For feedback or additional questions, we have a helpdesk button that will always be there for your inputs and questions. 

Shared Superpowers:

In the #DevPolHack world, creativity is a shared superpower and not something we compare each other with. The more you share, the more you spread the possibility for creativity. Engagement is key.

You and your team are in the driver’s seat:

We provide you with a solid framework, myriad resources and tons of support, but ultimately how much value and knowledge you get out of the #DevPolHack will depend on you. The process will always have a facilitator to guide you through, but the process requires that every participants takes the driver’s seat.

Don’t reinvent the wheel:

Though your team is in the driver’s seat, don’t spend time changing what we have suggested unless it’s definitely needed.  The process we present and get you onboard might not be perfect, and is definitely not the only way, but it’s a process we have been testing, changing and fine-tuning for a long time now – and we know it works!

Your input matters (more than anything):

This toolbox is FOR YOU. A crucial piece of your success is speaking up when something is missing, doesn’t make sense, or if you have a great idea for an edit or additionIn sharing this toolbox, we seek to provide the best support we could think of. If ever you don’t feel that support, please please please reach out and let us know.

"The process you use to get to the future is the future you get.”
- Myron’s Maxims -

The #DevPolHack is a process made of several phases, elements and tools,
encouraging the collective intelligence of the participants to come to life.
To get a glimpse of the process, please watch the video below, taken in 2022 as part of our third #DevPolHack in Belgrade, Serbia

Also, check the graphic and get the full picture of the flow and connection of each phase. 

Think like a designer

In #DevPolHack, we embed elements of design thinking, as a proven process for creative problem solving. As in design thinking, in #DevPolHack we put people at the centre of the process of coming up with solutions to problems or needs that they have. This is often called the human- or user-centered approach. It encourages us to focus on and work with the people who are affected by a problem when creating potential solutions, whether that’s a campaign, product or service. Understanding how people are affected and what their needs are and respecting local and Indigenous knowledge can lead to better solutions.

In the #DevPolHack process, you will experience how it is like to think like a designer, meaning:

  • You will allow problems and solutions to emerge and develop together
  • You will adopt a solution-focused way of thinking to find new insights and ideas,
  • You will break out of your comfort zones and avoid repeating things that are not working
  • Lastly, you will create, test and iterate solutions before scaling them.
Ready to dive into #DevPolHack?
We welcome you on this journey with excitement 🙂