Urraan: Gender, Tech & Mobility Hackathon

Do you have an idea for improving the transportation landscape in Pakistan, especially for females? Join the Urraan Gender, Tech & Mobility Hackathon on September 23 & 24, 2022 at LUMS! Register now!


The Urraan Gender, Tech & Mobility Hackathon is a 2-day hackathon and a series of talks, convened by LUMS. Participants from all kinds of academic and professional backgrounds can work together in teams to propose creative technological solutions to issues of women's mobility in Pakistan, using a combination of diverse skill sets, domain knowledge, and evidence-based interventions. Whether you're a computer science major, a political science graduate, or a data scientist, you are invited to compete in this unique user-driven policy experience that harnesses your team's collective intelligence, while dismantling social barriers to your pick of six mobility-centric problem areas!

The top 3 most promising solutions will be awarded monetary prizes to aid further solution development!

🏆1st place - PKR 50,000

🏆2nd place - PKR 30,000

🏆3rd place - PKR 20,000

Moreover, the hackathon is not a stand-alone event but will kick off an internship devoted to mobility innovations at the LUMS CHISEL lab to extend your project (winners will be eligible to apply).

Problem Statements

1. Safety & Harassment

While men in Pakistan dominate the public sphere, women who travel unaccompanied outside the home are perceived as transgressors of cultural and gender norms, encountering severe harassment, especially if traveling at night. Among women who do utilize public transport, the vast majority have faced some form of sexual harassment, and for women who do not, fears surrounding harassment are a major deterrent against opting for public forms of transport. What are tangible ways in which we can help address these fears, or these experiences of harassment? How can we make women feel more comfortable with reporting and confronting such incidents? How can we utilize harassment-based data already available to us in meaningful, innovative ways?

2. Walkability

Poor urban planning has led to widespread neglect of pedestrian infrastructure in Pakistan, leaving pedestrians at the mercy of high rates of motorization, increased frequency of vehicle use, and weak enforcement of traffic laws. This frequently takes the form of a lack of well-maintained footpaths, neglect of design for hot weather, and road-crossings that are either completely absent or ignored altogether. Although this impacts all types of pedestrians, women, in particular, find themselves further relegated and negatively impacted in the private sphere as a result. Moreover, sexual harassment and pronounced staring from male pedestrians exacerbates female discomfort with wanting to walk in public spaces. What are some cost-effective, evidence-based ways in which we can make our cities more ‘walkable’ for female pedestrians?

3. Design and Infrastructure

Despite women relying more on public transport than men, only limited and uncomfortable seating is reserved for them, and public transportation personnel usually do not stop for women, preferring to accommodate men in women-only compartments. In addition, the height of entry steps and the absence of handrails pose problems for women wearing traditional dress (or high heels), pregnant women, and those carrying items or young children. How can we identify and draw greater attention to these oft-overlooked infrastructural obstacles to female mobility? Can we craft informed solutions that are both creative and easily executed?

4. Access to Information

There are no official streamlined channels actively disseminating information about public transport, including the location of different public transport stations in a particular area, public transport routes, fares, and schedules. Women in Pakistan rely on word of mouth to attain this kind of information. How can we bridge this information gap? How can we map public transport facilities all across Pakistan?

5. Workplace Access or Commuting to Jobs

A lack of viable public transport options leaves many women unable to take up job opportunities they may be qualified for. Often, workplaces fall too far outside available transport routes. Combined with unsafe public spaces, deeply entrenched social stigmas, a lack of access to information, and a lack of pedestrian infrastructure, many women are compelled to either abandon viable opportunities or waste considerable personal and financial resources in navigating these hurdles. What steps can be taken to overcome some of these oft-overlooked transport-based barriers? What low-cost interventions can you introduce to improve workplace access for women?

6. Job Hunting or Finding

Women often face hurdles in finding jobs that their male counterparts do not, for a variety of reasons, including concerns that women will need to take time off for maternity leave to well-disguised discrimination. Women in Pakistan are more likely to work in low-skilled occupations, and face worse employment conditions than men. They are also more exposed to informal jobs lacking social protections. It is, therefore, vital to find new, innovative solutions that can facilitate local women with locating higher-quality job opportunities. How can we bridge the gap between employer requirements, market demands, and the skill-based employability of local women? How can we alleviate the struggles women face when struggling to balance paid work with domestic responsibilities, or when re-entering the workforce after a prolonged leave?

Ground Rules

Submission Deliverables 

The deliverable we are looking for is:

  • A full-fledged conceptual idea, OR
  • An early design of a solution or prototype

Pitch Rules

  • Nominate one person from your team who will deliver the project pitches at checkpoints 1, 2, and 3. It could be the same member for all 3 pitches or a different team member for each pitch.
  • Take a look at the evaluation criteria below and make sure you cover these aspects within your pitch.
  • Please note that teams will be shortlisted after checkpoint 2 and only the finalist teams will present in the last round at checkpoint 3.
  • You will have exactly 3 minutes to complete your final pitch (checkpoint 3). This will be followed by 2 minutes of questions from the jury members. We advise you to prepare beforehand regarding potential questions you may be asked, making sure you are ready to answer quickly and clearly.

Evaluation Criteria

The jury will take into account the following evaluation criteria:

  • Creativity (20%)  - How innovative is your idea? Does the team provide a convincing rationale for why their solution is practical and can be easily implemented?  Does the solution consider user experience, interface and service design?  How deeply has the team delved into the problem? Does it consider the various significant technical issues related to the problem? Does it make good use of multiple tools/software?

  •  Clarity (10%)  - Is your idea clear to understand, adopt and use?  Have you clearly mentioned any resources or existing work you may have used?

  • Functionality (30%)  - Does your idea accomplish its stated goal?  Is it consistent with the theme you selected and your own defined scope and objectives?  Could the concept or prototype be easily executed? Can it be implemented by one of our partners? Can further improvements be made to enhance its impact?

  • Impact (40%) - Usefulness: How realistic is your idea?  Does the proposed solution solve an existing problem pertaining to women’s mobility or provide a direction to do so? Scale: What is the magnitude of the impact it would create? Small or large? Who will be impacted directly and indirectly? (target audience, quantity, demographics, sector)?  What is the potential for the solution to have influence beyond its target audience? How likely is it that the solution will be adopted by the intended audience?


1. Who can participate?

The hackathon is open to all the students enrolled in any university or young working professionals, based in Lahore. This Gender, Tech & Mobility Hackathon is especially targeted to participants who are interested in sustainability, technology, and innovation and have an interesting mobility idea or project to develop within the scope of the proposed problem statements. 

2. What kinds of skills should participants have?

We are open to participants with a wide range of skills. We are looking for sustainability enthusiasts, innovators, engineers, programmers, data geeks, students, scientists, and designers. The work will be done in teams, combining participants with various skill sets.

3. Can I join this challenge online?

No. In-person participation at the venue is necessary.

4. What’s the requirement for team size?

The minimum requirement for the number of team members is 3 people. As you have to coordinate within your team, we recommend a manageable team size of up to 5 members to be effective.

5. Can I register as a solo participant?

No. Solo individuals are not allowed to participate. You must register with a complete team. Each team member must fill out the registration form, and the team name must be the same as your teammates so we can identify the teams.

6. What’s the gender ratio requirement for team size?

Ideally, we would prefer a 1:1 gender ratio for team composition. There should preferably be at least 2 female members in each team as this Gender, Tech & Mobility Hackathon surrounds the issue of women's mobility in Pakistan. 

7. I am new to hackathons. What are they and how do they work?

A hackathon is an innovative sprint-like event where ideas get built into solutions with teamwork and mentoring support. The organizers will guide you through all the steps of the hackathon, from idea thinking to mentoring and final presentations to the jury for the selection of winners.