Visualizing Venezuelan Migration Issues in Colombia

LASER PULSE in collaboration with Purdue University, the University of Notre Dame, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, QED, The Center for Global Data Visualization (CGDV), Data Elevates, the Tableau, and USAID-Colombia invite you to participate in a data visualization hackathon. This event will bring together teams of participants from Colombia and Indiana to demonstrate the power of open data for benefiting public knowledge and policy. Teams will assess, analyze and visualize data and present to an audience to communicate a recommendation, story, or new idea through data visualization. This allows for better decision-making and more varied solutions to problems that span a wide range of global development challenges, such as the Venezuelan Migration Issue facing Colombia.

What is a Data Visualization Hackathon?

A data visualization hackathon is a design sprint-like event in which people collaborate intensively on data visualization projects.

Find Out More About Our Previous Hackathon at George Washington University

Who can participate?

This event is open to undergraduates and graduate students at the University of Notre Dame and Purdue University, as well as Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Universidad de Antioquia, and Universidad del Norte. Contestants will compete as teams of 2-4 students, with a maximum of 1 non-student member on each team.

What’s required?

A computer or laptop with your favorite tools installed. You can use whatever tools you like! (Excel, Adobe, Python, R, JavaScript, Tableau, Plotly, etc.)

Why should I participate?

In addition to the chance to earn prizes you’ll be able to develop a visualization that showcases a fresh perspective on data, opens up new feedback loops, informs policy, and improves program implementation for the public good!


We are seeking dynamic data visualizations that are information-oriented outputs (examples of past submissions can be found here ) that can answer topical questions with data and be useful in terms of informing policy.  Note that we are not looking for phone apps or computer programs.


Tuesday, February 4th >> online registration opens * Thursday, February 13th to Friday March 6th >> competition duration * registration will close on Feb. 27


Data will be available Online at this link from February 13th to March 6th and an award ceremony will take place April 2nd at the Shah Family Expo at Purdue University

Full Rules

To see the full hackathon rules click here

or aqui por Espanol

USAID LASER CGDV Hackathon Slide Deck

You should have received emails from Fred Rossi regarding your partner teams. Please check your spam folder if you are not receiving these emails or email or

What is the Migration Crisis?

Source: Migracion Colombia / 31 October 2019

Learn More About Migration

Hackathon Task

Visualize the Venezuelan migration crisis in Colombia, perform exploratory analysis and give insights from the data.

Hackathon Kick-off Webinar

LASER-CGDV Colombia Hackathon

Judging Criteria

LASER PULSE Hackathon 2020 Data Sets and Resources

Additional data from reputable organizations can be used at the team’s discretion with proper citation

Demographics for UNHCR's populations of concern

Consists of a number of datasets that can be sorted by country such as “Demographics for UNHCR populations of concern residing in Colombia”

Coordination Platform for Refugee and Migrants from Venezuela

Data on the sum of refugees and asylum seekers from Venezuela as reported by host countries

Migration Data Portal

Data on global migration including key migration statistics by country with data sets.

Datos Abierto (Spanish)

Open Data portal from the Government of Colombia

CGDV Recommended Data Sources

General List of CGDV recommended data sources; non-hackathon specific.

Migracion desde Venezuela a Colombia

World Bank Group summary report on Venezuelan migration to Colombia (Spanish).

Esri story map

An interactive infographic story describing some of the issues and challenges facing Venezuelan migrants.


Register an account on CGDV, and submit your work before 11:59 PM EST March 6, 2020.

How To Upload Your Visual to CGDV?

Team Up

Find your friends and form a team of up to 4 members (or register as an individual and we'll place you on a team).


First Place: $1,500
Second Place: $1,000
Third Place: $500


Reema Rustagi

Senior Data Scientist, Data Analytics & Visualization, The QED Group LLC

Rob Segan

Deputy Director, Global Health and Data Solutions, The QED Group LLC

Juan Posada-Burbano

Program Manager, Pulte Institute for
Global Development’s Innovation and Practice Division

Iván Mauricio Gaitán Gómez

Director of Risk, Analysis & Information (RAI Colombia)

Kathryn Seigfried-Spella

Assoc Prof, Dept. of Computer and Information Technology (CIT), Purdue University

Juan Diego Velasquez

Managing Director, Colombia-Purdue Partnership in the Office of Global Partnerships

Dr. Chad Laux

Assoc Prof, Dept. of Computer and
Information Technology (CIT), Purdue University

Andrea Burniske

Chief of Party Laser Pulse


Because of COVID-19 the International Development Expo at Purdue will not be held as planned. We will contact the winners to notify them the second week of April, and announce the results online at this time as well.

Check out all the submissions!

Organizers and Sponsors