The Thrive by Five Index (2021) found that less than half of children attending an early learning programme (such as a preschool or creche) in South Africa start school with the right early learning foundation. There are many factors that influence whether a child Thrives by Five, such as access to a quality early learning programme, as well as poverty, gender, malnutrition, and emotional well-being. Children without a good foundation struggle to keep up at school and have a major learning disadvantage.
The Index used the Early Learning Outcomes Measure (ELOM) to assess children, and categorises their development as either “on track”, “falling behind” or “falling far behind”.
In this competition, your challenge is to use machine learning techniques to identify which early learning programme factors contribute to better learning outcomes in children, by predicting a child’s ELOM score.
This will allow DataDrive2030 to design better interventions that make optimal use of limited resources to ensure South Africa’s children are thriving.
About DataDrive2030 (datadrive2030.co.za)
Established in March 2022, DataDrive2030 is a South African based social enterprise that supports the collection and use of high quality data to drive improved child outcomes in the first 6 years of life. Our suite of early learning measurement tools accurately measure a range of developmental outcomes in young children, and provide an indication of the quality of the early learning environment in home and programme settings. Tools are digitised and designed for affordable use at scale in all official South African languages, with built-in data quality assurance mechanisms.
We aim to make these tools widely accessible, and to ensure that the information that is generated is easily understandable and most importantly, is actionable. Using data, our goal is to drive tangible improvements in early childhood development services in South Africa, by 2030.
The error metric for this competition is the Root Mean Squared Error.
For every row in the dataset, submission files should contain 17 columns: ID, ELM Score and the 15 top predictors.
Your submission file should look like this:
child_id target feature_1 feature_2 ... ID_AWX6YB4QO 56.999 child_score_item_15 child_score_item_7 ... ID_SPYK410VL 64.070 child_score_item_4 child_score_item_3 ...
1st place: $1 500 USD
2nd place: $900 USD
3rd place: $600 USD
Note: At the end of the challenge, the top ten on the private leaderboard will receive the usual code request email.
The top ten will also need to submit their solutions to the challenge, as well as a sensitivity analysis report pipeline. The created pipeline should be able to take in some variables and output a sensitivity analysis report to show how much the top 15 variables should change independently to move the total ELOM score/target from one category to another. For example, if one of the top variables is the number of child_score_item_1, your pipeline should output how much improvement is needed independently to move a child from category yellow to green or from red to yellow for the different child age categories.
ELOM score category cut-off points:
Competition closes on 30 April 2023.
Final submissions must be received by 11:59 PM GMT.
We reserve the right to update the contest timeline if necessary.
This challenge is open to all.
Teams and collaboration
You may participate in competitions as an individual or in a team of up to four people. When creating a team, the team must have a total submission count less than or equal to the maximum allowable submissions as of the formation date. A team will be allowed the maximum number of submissions for the competition, minus the total number of submissions among team members at team formation. Prizes are transferred only to the individual players or to the team leader.
Multiple accounts per user are not permitted, and neither is collaboration or membership across multiple teams. Individuals and their submissions originating from multiple accounts will be immediately disqualified from the platform.
Code must not be shared privately outside of a team. Any code that is shared, must be made available to all competition participants through the platform. (i.e. on the discussion boards).
The Zindi data scientist who sets up a team is the default Team Leader but they can transfer leadership to another data scientist on the team. The Team Leader can invite other data scientists to their team. Invited data scientists can accept or reject invitations. Until a second data scientist accepts an invitation to join a team, the data scientist who initiated a team remains an individual on the leaderboard. No additional members may be added to teams within the final 5 days of the competition or last hour of a hackathon.
The team leader can initiate a merge with another team. Only the team leader of the second team can accept the invite. The default team leader is the leader from the team who initiated the invite. Teams can only merge if the total number of members is less than or equal to the maximum team size of the competition.
A team can be disbanded if it has not yet made a submission. Once a submission is made individual members cannot leave the team.
All members in the team receive points associated with their ranking in the competition and there is no split or division of the points between team members.
Datasets and packages
The solution must use publicly-available, open-source packages only.
You may use only the datasets provided for this competition. Automated machine learning tools such as automl are not permitted.
You may use pretrained models as long as they are openly available to everyone.
The data used in this competition is the sole property of Zindi and the competition host. You may not transmit, duplicate, publish, redistribute or otherwise provide or make available any competition data to any party not participating in the Competition (this includes uploading the data to any public site such as Kaggle or GitHub). You may upload, store and work with the data on any cloud platform such as Google Colab, AWS or similar, as long as 1) the data remains private and 2) doing so does not contravene Zindi’s rules of use.
You must notify Zindi immediately upon learning of any unauthorised transmission of or unauthorised access to the competition data, and work with Zindi to rectify any unauthorised transmission or access.
Your solution must not infringe the rights of any third party and you must be legally entitled to assign ownership of all rights of copyright in and to the winning solution code to Zindi.
Submissions and winning
You may make a maximum of 10 submissions per day.
You may make a maximum of 300 submissions for this competition.
Before the end of the competition you need to choose 2 submissions to be judged on for the private leaderboard. If you do not make a selection your 2 best public leaderboard submissions will be used to score on the private leaderboard.
During the competition, your best public score will be displayed regardless of the submissions you have selected. When the competition closes your best private score out of the 2 selected submissions will be displayed.
Zindi maintains a public leaderboard and a private leaderboard for each competition. The Public Leaderboard includes approximately 20% of the test dataset. While the competition is open, the Public Leaderboard will rank the submitted solutions by the accuracy score they achieve. Upon close of the competition, the Private Leaderboard, which covers the other 80% of the test dataset, will be made public and will constitute the final ranking for the competition.
Note that to count, your submission must first pass processing. If your submission fails during the processing step, it will not be counted and not receive a score; nor will it count against your daily submission limit. If you encounter problems with your submission file, your best course of action is to ask for advice on the Competition’s discussion forum.
If you are in the top 10 at the time the leaderboard closes, we will email you to request your code. On receipt of email, you will have 48 hours to respond and submit your code following the Reproducibility of submitted code guidelines detailed below. Failure to respond will result in disqualification.
To be eligible for cash prizes, 1st, 2nd, or 3rd on the final leaderboard will release their top solutions under an open source license for ongoing use and learning.
If two solutions earn identical scores on the leaderboard, the tiebreaker will be the date and time in which the submission was made (the earlier solution will win).
The winners will be paid via bank transfer, PayPal, or other international money transfer platform. International transfer fees will be deducted from the total prize amount, unless the prize money is under $500, in which case the international transfer fees will be covered by Zindi. In all cases, the winners are responsible for any other fees applied by their own bank or other institution for receiving the prize money. All taxes imposed on prizes are the sole responsibility of the winners. The top 3 winners or team leaders will be required to present Zindi with proof of identification, proof of residence and a letter from your bank confirming your banking details.Winners will be paid in USD or the currency of the competition. If your account cannot receive US Dollars or the currency of the competition then your bank will need to provide proof of this and Zindi will try to accommodate this.
Payment will be made after code review and sealing the leaderboard.
You acknowledge and agree that Zindi may, without any obligation to do so, remove or disqualify an individual, team, or account if Zindi believes that such individual, team, or account is in violation of these rules. Entry into this competition constitutes your acceptance of these official competition rules.
Zindi is committed to providing solutions of value to our clients and partners. To this end, we reserve the right to disqualify your submission on the grounds of usability or value. This includes but is not limited to the use of data leaks or any other practices that we deem to compromise the inherent value of your solution.
Zindi also reserves the right to disqualify you and/or your submissions from any competition if we believe that you violated the rules or violated the spirit of the competition or the platform in any other way. The disqualifications are irrespective of your position on the leaderboard and completely at the discretion of Zindi.
A README markdown file is required
It should cover:
Your code needs to run properly, code reviewers do not have time to debug code. If code does not run easily you will be bumped down the leaderboard.
Consequences of breaking any rules of the competition or submission guidelines:
Monitoring of submissions
How to enroll in your first Zindi competition
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