World Bank Apps for Development Competition

This message came across my desk yesterday.  It's another example of the realisation that the raw data within an organisation has the opportunity for greater value with many minds thinking about how it can be put to use.  Taking advantage of the Internet to bring those minds together.

The World Bank has released some of the country specific data it holds for consumption across the web.  They've even created a competition to for the most interesting use of that information in a web application.

Maybe you've got a great idea of how to use these data sets?  Visualisation? Economic analysis? Trend identification? Development opportunity identification? Remember, you don't need to be a programmer to do this.  You can outsource application development very easliy using eLance, Guru, oDesk and many other places on the web.

See the details of the competition below.

The World Bank launched its Open Data Initiative in April, 2010. This initiative made an array of data sets, including the World Development Indicators, Africa Development Indicators, and Millennium Development Goal Indicators - free for all.The World Bank Group is actively working to make its operations and its research more open, transparent and accountable. This includes a range of reforms that enable free access to data that had either previously not been available or available only to paying subscribers. In a speech on September 29, 2010 at Georgetown University, World Bank President, Robert B. Zoellick described the new Open Data, Open Knowledge, and Open Solutions initiative, as a fundamentally new way of searching for development solutions, in a networked development architecture, where none dominates and all can play a part. Through this initiative, the Bank is supplementing its "elite retail" model of economic research, which had economists focusing on specific issues and then writing papers, with a "wholesale" and networked model, that gives outsiders the data, research and software to reach their own findings.

The Apps for Development Competition
First Prize - $US15,000

The Apps for Development Competition aims to bring together the best ideas from both the software developer and the development practitioner communities to create innovative apps using World Bank data.

The Competition challenges participants to develop software applications related to one or more of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Submissions may be any kind of software application, be it for the web, a personal computer, a mobile handheld device, console, SMS, or any software platform broadly available to the public. The only other requirement is that the proposed application use one or more datasets from the World Bank Data Catalog available at

Applications submitted to the Competition should address at least one of the following objectives:

  1. Raise awareness of at least one of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), or

  2. Contribute to progress toward meeting one of the MDGs by 2015.

Applications which best satisfy the competition criteria will receive cash prizes and the opportunity to have their apps featured on the World Bank Open Data website. Competition participants are encouraged to also use other relevant indicators and datasets, and to be creative in exploring approaches for realizing the goals.

Please find more information on how to enter at: