The World Bank launched its Open Data Initiative in April, 2010. This initiative made an array of data sets, including the World Development Indicators, Africa Development Indicators, and Millennium Development Goal Indicators – free for all.

The Apps for Development Competition aims to bring together the best ideas from both the software developer and the development practitioner communities to create innovative apps using World Bank data.

The Competition challenges participants to develop software applications related to one or more of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Submissions may be any kind of software application, be it for the web, a personal computer, a mobile handheld device, console, SMS, or any software platform broadly available to the public. The only other requirement is that the proposed application use one or more datasets from the World Bank Data Catalog available at

Applications submitted to the Competition should address at least one of the following objectives:

  1. Raise awareness of at least one of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), or
  2. Contribute to progress toward meeting one of the MDGs by 2015.

Applications which best satisfy the competition criteria will receive cash prizes and the opportunity to have their apps featured on the World Bank Open Data website. Competition participants are encouraged to also use other relevant indicators and datasets, and to be creative in exploring approaches for realizing the goals.

About the Millennium Development Goals

The MDGs represent a collective ambition for our world.  Simply put, the MDGs express a vision of a world in which extreme poverty and hunger have been eliminated, and the economic and human welfare of poor people worldwide has been tangibly improved. The MDGs articulate specific targets to be reached by 2015 related to poverty and hunger, universal education, child health and other crucial dimensions.

Hackathon Sponsors


$55,000 in prizes

First Prize

$15,000 USD

Second Prize

$10,000 USD

Third Prize

$5,000 USD

Honorable Mentions (10) (10)

$2,000 USD Each

Popular Choice Award

$5,000 USD

Large Organization Recognition Award

The Large Organization Award winner will receive public acknowledgement, but no cash prize.

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:

How to enter

Interested participants must register for the contest on this webpage by creating an account between October 7, 2010, and January 10, 2011. Registrants will receive an email, which they must use to verify their account. Once registered, participants may enter their submissions via the Submit Application tab. In order to be considered, each submission must include: a link to the application, a video of the application, a text-based description of the application, and at least one still photograph of the working application.

The Challenge is open to all individuals from member countries of the World Bank (see: who have attained the age of majority in their individual nations at the time of their entries, as well as companies with fewer than fifty employees. Organizations employing fifty or more employees are eligible for the Large Organization Recognition award. 

In order to be considered for prizes, submissions must be original software applications solely owned by the entrant(s), which must use at least one of the World Bank datasets found at We encourage you to view the Resources Page to find more information on the data and the MDG's. The text descriptions in the contest submission must accurately describe the functionality of the application, and all submitted materials must be in English, or include an English translation. Submissions must eschew indecency, defamation, violence, pornography, and obvious bad taste.

All entrants will retain all intellectual property ownership in their submissions. All interested applicants must read the complete version of the Official Rules document. The rules listed here provide only a brief introduction and overview, and do not constitute a complete list of all requirements and restrictions that apply to this competition.


Shaida Badiee

Shaida Badiee
Director, Development Data Group, World Bank

Shanta Devarajan

Shanta Devarajan
Chief Economist, Africa Region, World Bank

Jussi Hinkkanen

Jussi Hinkkanen
Vice President, Government Relations and Business Environment, Nokia Middle East and Africa

Homi Kharas

Homi Kharas
Senior Fellow and Deputy Director, Global Economy and Development, Brookings Institution

Eduardo Lora

Eduardo Lora
Chief Economist (a.i.) and General Manager, Research Department, Inter-American Development Bank

Craig Newmark
Founder, Craigslist, Inc.

Ory Okolloh

Ory Okolloh
Co-founder, Ushahidi

Kannan Pashupathy

Kannan Pashupathy
Director, Engineering, Google

Jean-Louis Sarbib

Jean-Louis Sarbib
Chief Executive Officer, Development Gateway

Judging Criteria

  • Quality of the Idea
    Including creativity and originality
  • Implementation of the Idea
    Including user experience, design, and performance
  • Potential Impact on the Competition Objectives
    Which are 1) raising awareness of, or 2) making progress toward achieving at least one MDG

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