Kiva partner Strathmore University hosts hackathon to promote safe, peaceful Kenyan elections

Last January, Strathmore University became Kiva’s first university partner -- enabling lenders to make loans to low-income students for tuition and school-related supplies like laptops.

Striving toward UNDP Millennium Development Goals, Strathmore established @iLabAfrica in January 2011 with the goal to spearhead research, innovation, and entrepreneurship in the area of information and communication technologies for development.

This February 14 through 16 -- in time for Kenya's March 4 election -- @iLabAfrica and Google teamed up to host the first ever “Apps for elections workshop and hackathon.”

The workshop brought together experts in democracy and election politics -- as well as experienced developers -- to create and propose sustainable solutions for democracy and elections in just 3 days.

Discussions and activities filled the first day of the hackathon, including a panel of experts, presentations on elections, and brainstorming. On days two and three, the developers were split into teams to develop their applications, always keeping the end user in mind -- in accordance with Google’s design model.

One app developed during the hackathon, Wanainchi, highlights electoral boundaries via maps, enables users to view information about candidates by region, and keep track of election results as they're being tallied.

Another app, Tukumbuke, is an online digital memorial to Kenya’s post-election violence experienced in 2007 and 2008. This app allows users to share information about the losses they experienced from the violence, and to send donations to people who were affected.

You can read more about the five apps developed at @iLabAfrica’s hackathon here.

In related news, Strathmore held its 9th Annual Career Fair just several weeks ago -- providing its students with great networking and professional development opportunities in a range of fields, including technology.

Here at Kiva, we love working with institutions like Strathmore that go above and beyond to provide students with resources and unique experiences, giving them a huge advantage when it comes to finding a good job. On top of that, Strathmore is actively engaging students in causes that will better the community as a whole -- in this case by providing resources to promote a safe, peaceful election. 

For many Kenyan students, attending university would never be possible without manageable financial assistance. Kiva is thrilled to be able to make these opportunities possible for more young people.

Have questions about Kiva's partnership with Strathmore? Send them our way at

About the author

Emily Wakefield

A native of southern California, Emily is a recent graduate from Santa Clara University where she studied Economics and Spanish Studies. The highlight of her college experience was the semester she spent abroad in Granada, Spain. She knew she wanted to pursue a career in economic development after reading Half the Sky. Emily will be joining the Marketing and Communications team as a Blog and Social Media Intern and is especially excited to find new and creative ways to spread Kiva’s work to more people. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, listening to country music, and re-watching Friends episodes for the millionth time.