The World Bank is planning to launch a competition to encourage developers to create applications that can be used to measure progress in the developing world.
The competition is part of the World Bank’s initiative to open up its databases to all individuals for free, so that people can use the information “to create new analyses, new tools and new solutions to global problems,” said Robert Zoellick, president of the World Bank.
Previously, only subscribers could access the information, which includes life expectancy and infant mortality rates from countries around the world. The data will be available in Arabic, French and Spanish, as well as English.
In this competition, the World Bank will be calling for people to use the data to create “tools, applications and mash-ups” for the development sector, to “make it easier for users of development data to make better decisions and better policies to overcome poverty,” said Zoellick.
The World Bank database can be accessed via http://data.worldbank.org.