Sustainable, meaningful results of a hackathon depend mainly on the information about the requirements the programmers and designers got, allowing them to know exactly what is needed, e.g. what the app should be able to do. Therefore, a hackathon is usually preceded by a definition phase involving all those people who know the requirements best. In case of the refugee hackathon, these are refugees, refugee organisations, grass root initiatives, experienced volunteers, public authorities in charge of taking care of refugees and so on.
The ideas are described as precisely as possible and published bit by bit before the start of the hackathon (in this case in this blog), so that all those who are supposed to implement the ideas can already think about it, maybe form teams before the hackathon begins and then start right away. The final wishlist with concrete descriptions should be finished the day before the hackathon, the 23rd October 2015, during a workshop.
Also during the hackathon itself, mixed teams are critical: to get best results, the teams should include people with professional expertise (refugee context), design expertise (for usability and visual appearance), architecture expertise (for the functional design of the applications) and programming expertise to achieve best results.
After the event, some applications are ready to use, others lack some subtleties or have been designed only for one operating system so far (e.g. the app works on Android, but versions for iOS, WindowsPhone or other operating systems still have to be implemented). Each line of code written at a charity hackathon like this one is open source and will be available on GitHub. This allows developers to further work with it and add extra functionalities – maybe during a following refugee hackathon.