WANTED: Data Science Experts for Innovation Competition


i2i is seeking data science experts to provide specialised support/mentoring to data enthusiasts taking part in the DataHack4FI innovation competition.

What is DataHack4FI?

DataHack4FI is an annual innovation competition that promotes evidence-based decision-making for improved financial service provision to un- or underserved clients. The competition is targeting established African tech companies (FinTech, InsurTech, HealthTech, AgriTech) which are paired with in-country data enthusiasts to unlock the potential of the tech company’s internal data. Data enthusiasts receive mentoring from data science experts.

Season 1 focused on supporting entrepreneurs in brainstorming and developing new solutions for expanding access to financial services in the low-income space and ran from October 2016 to May 2017. The initiative took place in seven countries (Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, Uganda and Zambia) and involved over 200 participants from 58 teams.

Season 2 is focused on supporting tech companies in further unleashing the power of their internal data. It launched in November 2017 and will run until May 2018 in six countries (Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia and Tanzania). For more about the competition, see: www.datahack4fi.org

Who is behind it?

DataHack4FI is an initiative of insight2impact (i2i) in partnership with innovation hubs and financial sector market facilitators in Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia and Tanzania. i2i is a resource centre aiming to unleash the power of data for financial inclusion, co-hosted by Cenfri and FinMark Trust and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation. For details about in-country partners, see the DataHack4FI website.

What do we aim to achieve?

The objectives for DataHack4FI can be summarised as follows:

  • To develop data solutions in financial service provision that benefit the unserved and underserved
  • To strengthen the data science and innovation abilities of individuals within the fintech space
  • To convene innovation hubs, tech companies, data enthusiasts and development partners to build ecosystems that further stimulate and support the use of data for financial inclusion

What role are we looking for the expert data scientists to play?

We are looking for expert data scientists to support and advise data enthusiasts as they work with tech companies to make better use of their data to unlock new opportunities for providing financial services to un- or underserved clients.


In cases where the data fellow and the expert are based in the same city, support should ideally happen in-person at a time and place agreed between the expert and the fellow. In cases where they are based in different cities or countries, meetings will take place virtually.

Compensation & time commitment

Experts will be paid $50 USD per hour. We are looking to provide each data enthusiast with an hour worth of support per week over a period of 10 weeks. Depending on availability, an expert can provide support to more than one team. Mentoring will take place between February and April 2018, with individual timelines per country.

How to apply

Interested experts should kindly forward their CV/resume to [email protected] and [email protected] with subject line DATAHACK4FI EXPERT. Kindly include an indication of availability (e.g. hours per week) and location (city) in the email body. Applications close on 14 February 2018. Successful applicants will be notified by 21 February 2018.