How do you get people who are routinely inundated with information to be actively engaged in learning the facts about the world's most pressing problems? If you're the World Bank, you open your data sets on global development and make them freely available to all, and you launch a worldwide competition to create digital technology that communicates this data in interesting, interactive, and agile ways.
For its Apps for Development Competition, the World Bank asked software developers, practitioners, and organizations to use data made accessible through its Open Data Initiative, including World Development Indicators and Africa Development Indicators, along with Millennium Development Gotal (MDG) Indicators, to create software programs that raise awareness of and foster commitment to Millennium Development Goals.
World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick said of this initiative, "One of the reasons we threw open the doors to our data was that we recognized we don't have a monopoly on innovation. These apps clearly demonstrate how the software development community can harness technology to analyze and tackle some of the world's long-standing problems."
Winners of the World Bank competition were announced in a press release late last week, and we are happy to say that among them is the Foundation Center's International Project Funding: U.S. Foundations and the World Bank, which received the Large Organization Recognition Award. Congratulations to our colleagues for this wonderful recognition!
The timelined mapping tool uses the Center's U.S. foundation grants data sets, along with MDG indicators and World Bank data sets, to show funding for agriculture, fishing, and forestry from U.S. foundations and the World Bank from 2001 to 2007 and to display the percentage of land in each country that is covered either by forests or farmland. Millennium Development Goals for Environmental Sustainability are closely aligned with funding for these types of projects. Funding in this map represents grants of at least $10,000 awarded by the largest U.S. foundations and loans from the World Bank approved between 2001-2007.
Users can operate a timeline to see changes in funding and land cover over time; they can layer U.S. foundation funding over World Bank support; and they can view specifics about funding and environmental sustainability for each country.