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‘Apps for Development’ Competition Yields Global Response, Opens Public Voting

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Public voting to judge applications submitted to the Apps for Development Competition is now open.  A Popular Choice Award will go to the top-voted application that helps achieve or raise awareness of the Millennium Development Goals.

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 February 28, 2011. The apps created range from SMS services to apps for an iPhone, and include games aimed at children, as well as educational and statistical modeling tools. The winners will be announced at the joint World Bank/International Monetary Fund Spring Meetings in April. 

The Competition, which was launched on October 2010, is part of the World Bank OpenData Initiative.  Software developers and development professionals around the world were invited to use the recently opened World Bank data to create applications to help solve the world's most pressing problems.

A total of $45,000 will be awarded in cash prizes to the competition winners, which will be announced at the joint World Bank/International Monetary Fund annual 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.  Apps were also submitted by large technology companies, although these cannot be considered for prizes.

“We hope that people from all around the world will come to the Application Gallery to see all the wonderful ways that free World Bank data are being used to help reduce poverty,” said Shaida Badiee, Director of the World Bank's Development Data Group.

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