Busara Mental Health Prediction Challenge
500 Zindi Points
Predict who is suffering from depression based on routine survey data
594 data scientists enrolled, 57 on the leaderboard
17 November 2018—28 January 2019

The competition is part of a one-day hackathon hosted by the Busara Center for Behavioral Economics on 17 November 2018 in Nairobi. Welcome to the hackathon participants!

This competition will be open for the entire Zindi community to make submissions for approimately 2 months. The top 10 winners will receive up to 500 Zindi Points.

The World Health Organization estimates that 1.3 million Kenyans suffer from untreated major depressive disorder (MDD; commonly known as depression) every year, and that sub-Saharan Africa has the highest prevalence of the illness of any region in the world. Yet mental health treatment in Kenya suffers from a lack of resources and stigmatization. There are only two certified psychiatrists per million people in Kenya. Few facilities exist outside of urban areas and people are unlikely to know about or access them.

Can machine learning help alleviate this problem? Smart targeting of potential cases could help enable scarce resources to reach those who most need it and improve or save an untold number of lives.

With this in mind, the Busara Center for Behavioral Economics has decided to challenge the data science community in Nairobi, across Africa, and around the world to predict depression cases from routine survey data.

A model which accurately predicts which individuals are likely to be depressed from the survey data could be used by mental health providers such as local clinics, NGOs or community health volunteers to reach out to those at risk. We look forward to your solutions to this pressing problem.

This competition is hosted by the Busara Center for Behavioral Economics in partnership with AI Kenya, Women in Machine Learning and Data Science, Tulaa and ALX Launchpad.

About Busara (www.busaracenter.org)

The Busara Center for Behavioral Economics is a research and advisory nonprofit organization founded in 2012 and headquartered in Nairobi. We are dedicated to applying and advancing behavioral science in the Global South.

The Busara Center partners with academic institutions around the world to close the global research gap and serves clients in the health, governance and financial inclusion sectors from offices in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Nigeria.

About AI Kenya (www.aikenya.io)

AI Kenya is a group for all enthusiasts, learners and developers in Machine Learning, Data Science and Artificial Intelligence in general. We are a community of AI practitioners & Data Scientists across East Africa that come together to share knowledge & challenges in the field.

About WiMLDS (www.wimlds.org)

The mission of WiMLDS is to support and promote women and gender minorities who are practicing, studying or are interested in the fields of machine learning and data science. We create opportunities for members to engage in technical and professional conversations in a positive, supportive environment by hosting talks by women and gender minority individuals working in data science or machine learning, as well as hosting technical workshops, networking events and hackathons.

About Tulaa (www.tulaa.io)

A mobile commerce solution built for rural Africa. We combine mobile technology and last mile agent networks to connect agri-input suppliers, financial service providers and commodity buyers to smallholder farmers.

About ALX (www.alx.app)

ALX is a lifelong learning community that seeks to empower high-potential youth, recent graduates and rising professionals into high-impact leaders.