World Bank Challenges Developers to Solve Real World Problems

World Bank has officially announced the start of the “Apps for Development”, a global contest that invites developers to create applications that address development challenges across the world. We had earlier reported on the revamped World Bank data site, which exposes more than 2,000 World Development indicators, along with a World Bank API to access the information.

Announcing the Apps for Development contest, President Robert Zoellick said “Help change the world by using the World Bank’s data collection to help find solutions to today’s development challenges. Create applications to analyze and tackle the world’s long-standing problems.”

The contest, powered by ChallengePost, is open for submissions till January 10, 2011. Developers can target any type of applications: mashups, web or mobile applications and as per the rules, they must meet the following two criteria:

  • Applications should address atleast one of the 8 Millenium Development Goals as laid down by the World Bank. Some of them are universal primary education, environment sustainability and eradication of extreme poverty and hunger
  • Applications should use atleast one of the data sets from the World Bank Data Catalog. The Catalog exposes various data sets via their API. Some of the data sets are education, gender and governance statistics.

The competition is open to all till January 10, 2011 with judging and public voting process from January 31 – February 28, 2011. The winners will be announced in April 2011. Developers stand to win total cash prizes worth $45,000 with $15,000 as the First Prize. Winning applications will also be widely features at their web site and would definitely gain a wide audience. Visit the Apps For Development page for more details.

This contest promises to be of a different kind, since developers have been asked for solve challenging problems in the developing world, as laid down by the World Bank’s Millenium Development Goals. It will be interesting to see the solutions that developers come up with.