Womxn in Big Data South Africa: Female-Headed Households in South Africa
$5,000 USD
A prediction challenge with prizes for the top three female data scientists
449 data scientists enrolled, 201 on the leaderboard
25 November 2019—24 February 2020

Female household headship has been on the rise in South Africa in recent years. Compared to male-headed households, female-headed households tend to face greater social and economic challenges. Female-headed households, in general, are more vulnerable to lower household incomes and higher rates of poverty.

The South African census collects data on female headship and income levels of every household across the country every 10 years. However, it is important for policymakers and other actors to have accurate estimates of these statistics even in between census years. This challenge explores how machine learning can help improve monitoring key indicators at a ward level in between census years.

The objective of this challenge is to build a predictive model that accurately estimates the % of households per ward that are female-headed and living below a particular income threshold by using data points that can be collected through other means without an intensive household survey like the census.

This solution can potentially reduce the cost and improve the accuracy of monitoring key population indicators such as female household headship and income level in between census years. The winning solutions will be made publicly available at the end of the competition.

This competition is sponsored by Women in Big Data South Africa and Microsoft, in collaboration with HERE Technologies.

About Women in Big Data (womeninbigdata.org)

Women in Big Data is an industry initiative with the mission to inspire, connect, grow, and champion the success of women in this field. It was founded in 2015 by the women at Intel Silicon Valley; currently has a strong 14000 membership worldwide. The South African chapter is the first African chapter of its kind.

This forum is sponsored by several leading technology companies, including Intel, Cloudera, SAP.

Target members: Professional, experienced women at all levels of the organisation that are interested in repositioning their skills and pivot into data related career fields.

Activities: MeetUps -with internal women communities within partner organisations, Events that strive to capacity build (technical and soft skills) for professional development.

About HERE Technologies (here.com)

Where rich location data, intelligent products and powerful tools come together to drive your business forward.

As a company of over 8000 employees all focused on the concept of location and the potential it has to radically improve the way we do business, the way we get around and the way we live, we are shaping the future by redefining what was formerly known as a map. In 1985, we began with the simple goal to digitize mapping and pioneer in-car navigation systems. Over the next three decades, as NAVTEQ and NOKIA, we’ve built a legacy in mapping technology.

Today, we’re creating living three-dimensional maps that grow upwards, breathing with layers of information and insights. And we’re looking beyond. From autonomous driving, to the Internet of Things, we are building the future of location technology through strategic partnerships. Together we’re building open solutions for the future.

Community Digital Mapping Program

The HERE Technologies Digital Mapping Program aims to empower students, youth and women by equipping them with practical GIS mapping skills that will provide them with real-world experience and increase their competitive edge in the ever-changing real world. The program seeks to partner with educational institutions, NGOs, women in tech and organisations that are keen to make a positive impact of the transformation of GIS as well as invest their efforts to promote technology in education. Through the development of expert mapping communities, we ensure that we have a fresh and up to date map, but more importantly the program seeks to close the gap in skills development in Africa. Through the provision of participation certificates, recommendation letters and the ultimate goal of joining the Community Ambassador Program, the youth are exposed to a program that speaks to their needs and contributes to their overall growth and development. As a result of being leaders in location technology, HERE also provides free location APIs, under the Freemium Plan, that provides developers with access to over 20 APIs including Maps, Geocoding, Routing and Places with no credit card needed.

About Microsoft (microsoft.com)

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Microsoft has operated in Africa for more than 25 years. In that time they have built strong partnerships across the continent, helped bridge gaps in infrastructure, connectivity and capability, and are working to empower countries in Africa to digitally transform while creating sustained societal impact. Earlier this year, Microsoft opened Africa’s first hyper-scale data centers in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa. Most recently, the company also announced the opening of two Africa Development Centers in Nairobi and Lagos, where world class African talent can create innovative solutions for local and global impact.