On April 14, the World Bank announced winners of the Apps for Development Contest, which challenged software developers around the world to leverage World Bank open data in creating innovative applications that address development issues. The contest drew 107 entries from 36 countries across 6 continents – more than a third of these entries were designed by African developers. The three winners of the contest are as follows:
First place: StatPlanet World Bank
Second place: Development Timelines
Third Place: YourTopia – Development beyond GDP
Popular choice award: WORLD
Large organization recognition: International Project Funding: US Foundations and the World Bank
Congratulations to these winners and to the ten honorable mentions! As World Bank Vice President Sanjay Pradhan mentioned during the event, it was inspiring to observe their youth, talent, and creativity. By publishing open data and creating a competitive environment, the World Bank has tapped into a resource with enormous potential: the global crowd of innovative developers (check out AidData’s entry here). Pradhan closed the event by hinting at future competitions to come, so developers around the world, keep your eyes peeled.
World Bank President Robert Zoellick used the event as a chance to announce the release of the 2011 World Development Indicators (WDI) database, which contain updated data on national poverty estimates, maternal mortality ratios, financial access and outreach, taxes, and much more. In total, the WDI contains over 1,200 indicators, all of which are made available on the World Bank’s Country, Topic, and Indicator pages. This massive database will be a crucial resource for development workers worldwide seeking to use open data to better target and monitor their aid activities. As the Apps for Development contest showed, entrepreneurial software developers around the world are ready and willing to make this data usable and accessible through innovative applications.