Apps for Development contest started by The World Bank

Washington, Oct 7 (Calcutta Tube) The World Bank has kicked off the ‘Apps for Development‘ competition, the first global contest of its kind, challenging software developers and international experts to help change the world.

‘Help change the world by using the World Bank’s data collection to help find solutions to today’s development challenges,’ said Bank president Robert B. Zoellick. ‘Create applications to analyse and tackle the world’s long-standing problems,’ he added.

The competition challenges developers to create software applications, tools, data visualisations or ‘mash-ups’ — whether web-based, mobile, through SMS, smart phone, desktop, or tablet.

There are only two requirements for entries that must be filed by Jan 10: use the World Bank data catalogue 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.

Entries will compete for $45,000 in prizes and financial support. Large organisations may compete for a corporate recognition award. Winning entries will be featured on the World Bank Group’s website.

The panel of judges includes Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, Inc; Kannan Pashupathy, director of engineering, Google; Ory Okolloh, executive director and co-founder, Ushahidi; Homi Kharas, senior fellow and deputy director, Global Economy and Development, the Brookings Institution; and Shanta Devarajan, chief economist, World Bank’s Africa Region.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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