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World Bank opens first global apps for development competition

8 September 2010 – The World Bank Group today kicked off the “Apps for Development” competition, the first global contest of its kind.  President Robert B. Zoellick challenged software developers and international experts around the world to enter the contest.  Entries must be filed by January 10, 2011.

“Help change the world by using the World Bank’s data collection to help find solutions to today’s development challenges.” said Zoellick. “Create applications to analyze and tackle the world’s long-standing problems.” 

The competition challenges developers to create software applications, tools, data visualizations or “mash-ups”– whether web-based, mobile, through SMS, smart phone, desktop, or tablet.  There are only two requirements for entries: use the World Bank Data Catalog and address one of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

“The World Bank is seeking creative ‘apps’ that bring ground level insights of the development challenges posed by the MDGs,” said Shaida Badiee, Director of World Bank Group’s Development Research Data Group. “Our collection of global data on the economy, human development and the environment is a remarkable resource. The apps created in this competition will allow policy makers, researchers, and civil society to track the impact of policies, develop new solutions, and measure improvements more accurately.”

“We’d like to see examples of developers everywhere using our data and combining it with their own data to build really useful applications addressing local problems. That’s the power of crowdsourcing innovation and that’s the essence of the challenge,” added Aleem Walji, World Bank Institute Innovation Practice Manager.