Between January 31st and February 28th, thousands around the world voted on their favorite submissions to the World Bank Apps for Development Competition. The contest challenged software developers to create IT platforms that use World Bank data to address pressing development questions, particularly those related to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
AidData, with support from Esri, built the “Development Loop” for submission to the contest. It uses sub-national data from the World Bank and African Development Bank, overlaid with local development indicators and project success stories from GlobalGiving, to produce a visual story of aid, need, and feedback. Development Loop ranked among the top 10 contenders in the popular vote.
Between now and March 15th, nine judges from the World Bank, Nokia, Brookings, Google, and other ICT and development organizations will assess the quality, implementation, and potential impact on the Millennium Development Goals of each submitted application. Winners will be announced in April 2011.
Development Gateway believes in the power of mapping technology as a tool to enhance aid coordination and planning, as well as government transparency and accountability. With applications like Development Loop, governments can ensure that aid is allocated to areas of highest need, and local watchdog organizations can monitor government progress in achieving national development goals. In the coming months, AidData will work to enhance the capabilities of the Development Loop platform and geocode a larger swath of ongoing development projects so that development workers worldwide can perform their jobs more easily and interact in more meaningful ways with development data. Stay tuned for updates.