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GEOINT "Match Strike Challenge" Series – Analysis of Cause for Human Displacement
Challenge Type: technical
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3 months ago

A bonfire begins with a single match strike. The same rings true with novel ideas. Our first challenge highlighted the many ways that GEOINT data can be used. The results of the first Matchlight Challenge demonstrated that humanitarian issues are important to today's college students. However, the first challenge did not address cause, evidence, and potential solutions. In order to solve hard problems, It is important to identify root causes and evidence to inform solutions that have a solid foundation for lasting change. For this current Matchlight Challenge, we will focus on a single country with significant migration of people and ask competitors to document what is happening, where, and the major reasons for that migration while providing evidence for your hypothesis.

The Wright Brothers Institute in Dayton OH, the T-REX Innovation Center in St. Louis MO, and in conjunction with Riverside Research, have partnered to bring real-world examples to a series of university challenges. These challenges will highlight what can be done with focused geospatial datasets to shed light on current world problems.

This second challenge is designed for data scientists, designers and aspiring scientists who want to use their powers of reasoning to determine root causes of major human migration issues, and help to build a case for agencies and/or citizens to act. This second challenge is also designed to interest students in coming together to solve real world problems and propose solutions for lasting change. 

This Matchlight Challenge series will culminate in a hackathon to be held in St. Louis on Sept 9-10th where competitors and colleagues can meet with other like-minded students to see what can be accomplished in a weekend of fun and exploration. Local companies and government agencies that work with GEOINT data will be present at the hackathon for students to talk about internships and other opportunities.

Challenge criteria include:

1) Given the provided datasets, and any others that you want to use, define the extent of human migration in the identified country over the last 15 years. This should not include mirror changes in location but major shifts in population. Where did the population move from and where is the population moving to? This can be highlighted in graphs, charts, geospatial representation and any way that you can tell the story of the movements in a clear and meaningful way.

2) Explain the meaningful information you gathered from your databases and why you chose specific data and databases over other types of datasets. (i.e. too dated, bias detected in reporting, etc.)

3) Propose a hypothesis to explain the major human migration movements and provide a detailed basis for support of that hypothesis.

**Challenges cannot be ones that have already been completed (see examples of GEOINT challenges and uses listed below). Challenge submissions may then be used for subsequent challenges in this overall effort or the final Hackathon ( Date TBD).**

Your submission should include:

1) Display of displaced persons over time: This can be an App or website that shows data gleaned from the datasets. Must show locations of movement of the displaced people, representation of the number of displaced persons, and time frame for the movements

2) Hypothesis of the cause of the major displacements in this area: Written hypothesis of what caused the major displacement(s), e.g. GEOINT evidence that helps to prove the case and support the hypothesis

3) Evidence of the root cause: Causal relationship finding deep root cause(s), e.g. if water scarcity causes the move, what caused the water scarcity? Evidence can be narrative or visual display to show basis of root cause.

4) Database(s) use and rationale for their use: Provide a list of the databases used. Rationale for why you didn't use other databases that provide the similar or the same information.

5) **Extra Credit** Solution for alleviating the root cause of the displacement: Proposed solution for dealing with the root cause of the displacement. Or proposed solutions for intervention methods that could be used to ease the suffering of the afflicted populations based on your data and analysis. Or GeoInt that could be useful for assisting in alleviating the displaced people.

For Example:
In the “Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis” challenge highlighted in the last challenge, datasets of locations of hospitals and relief buildings near border crossings were put out on a website for nongovernment relief agencies to provide the needed care and for displaced people to find the help they needed (hospital, food, shelter, etc.)

Datasets to be used as a starting point for this challenge:

The intent of this competition is to advertise how GEOINT can make the world better, enhance their dataset access, and find candidates who have enthusiasm for careers in Geospatial Intelligence. These challenges may be used for the subsequent challenges or for problems for the Hackathon to be held in the in St. Louis, MO on Sept 9-10, 2023 at the T-REX Innovation Center.

This challenge is not restricted to US citizens, but to receive an award for this challenge the winner must be a full time student at a US University.

To receive an award for the Hackathon on 9-10 Sept 2023, the winner(s) will provide proof of status as “US Persons(s)" as defined federal statue. United States person means United States citizens (including minor children); United States residents; entities, including but not limited to, corporations, partnerships, or limited liability companies created or organized in the United States or under the laws of the United States; and trusts or estates formed under the laws of the United States.

About T-REX:
T-REX is a non-profit innovation and entrepreneur development center dedicated to strengthening the economic vitality of St. Louis through entrepreneurism, innovation activities and workforce development. T-REX's programs, collaborative community, and flexible startup and conference space are key elements in the St. Louis technology innovation ecosystem. T-REX, located in a historic building in downtown St. Louis, is a founder of the Downtown North Urban Insight District. T-REX boasts a one-of-a-kind 16,000 square foot Geospatial Innovation Center, an Extended Reality and Simulation Lab, and is home to the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency’s "Moonshot Labs,” as well as nearly 200 startup and established technology-focused companies and innovation support organizations.

About WBI:
Wright Brothers Institute is a cutting-edge innovation and technology commercialization center for the Air Force Research Laboratory, with facilities located just outside of WPAFB in Dayton, OH. We drive fast, agile innovation that enables successful technology development to solve the Air Force’s most complex challenges by leveraging resident experts, unique facilities, disruptive innovation processes, and extensive networks. We leverage subject matter experts and intellectual property from AFRL and SBIR companies to unlock the right problem, connect to new partners and synchronize transition pathways through our commercialization partners.

About Riverside Research:
Riverside Research is an independent nonprofit focused on our nation’s security. Our nonprofit structure allows us to design solutions that follow where the science leads, and our collaborative innovation model produces accelerated results. Our independent research and development is in the public interest and for the benefit and furtherance of the U.S. government's mission-related work.