World Bank starts voting on Apps for Development contest

The 107 entries came from 36 countries, including a third from Africa

The World Bank is in the final stretch of its first innovation competition, Apps for Development, and today it started public voting on the 107 submissions.

The contest drew in applicants from 36 countries, including more than half from Africa, Asia and Latin America. Voting will continue until Feb. 28, when a Popular Choice winner will be selected. A full roster of prize winners will be announced in April.

The goal was to develop digital, online and mobile solutions for reducing poverty, improving health and education,  and to raise awareness of the bank’s millennium goals.


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“We have been amazed by the global response to this competition,” Aleem Walji, head of the bank’s innovation practice, wrote on the contest blog today. “We've received apps from 36 countries; 30 of the 107 final submissions came from Africa. We received more submissions from Uganda, Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana than from all of Europe.”

Walji said the competition also shows enormous possibilities for getting the public involved with local data.

“What we've learned from apps competition in the U.S., U.K. and Canada is the corollary to the axiom 'all politics are local.' When it comes to apps competitions, the best apps are hyper-local. This is where people's daily realities interface with the value of information,” Walji wrote.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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