World Bank opens public voting on ‘Apps for Development’By IANS
Monday, January 31, 2011
WASHINGTON - The World Bank has opened public voting on the applications submitted to the Apps for Development Competition that challenged software developers to get new perspectives in identifying solutions to development problems.
The Popular Choice Award will be determined by public vote and the winner will receive a cash award and a feature on the World Bank website, the bank announced Monday.
World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick called for the Apps for Development competition “to create applications to analyse and tackle some of the world’s long-standing problems.”
The competition is part of the Bank’s Open Data Initiative, which last year released for free and for the first time the Bank’s catalogue of development data.
“We look forward to seeing how others’ innovations can help us move toward a world free of poverty,” said Zoellick.
Applications were submitted from 36 countries across every continent; more than half came from Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
The apps use a wide variety of World Bank data, including information about health, the environment, children out of school, agricultural land data, gender statistics, population growth, and mortality rate, among other datasets.
The 107 apps came in response to the World Bank’s global call for apps in October to help find solutions to today’s development challenges and to raise awareness of the Millennium Development Goals.
The 107 eligible entries are now available for use, review and voting on the Apps for Development website through Feb 28.
The apps created range from SMS services to apps for an iPhone, and include games aimed at children, as well as educational and statistical modelling tools.
The winners will be announced at the joint World Bank/International Monetary Fund Spring Meetings in April.
Aside from the Popular Choice Award, an expert judging panel will select winners for the First, Second, and Third Prizes, five Honorable Mentions, and a Large Organization Recognition Award.
The expert judging panel includes such technology gurus as Craig Newmark of Craigslist, Kannan Pashupathy from Google, and Ory Okolloh, co-founder of Ushahidi.