World Bank Awards Three Mobile Developer Teams for Apps Addressing Sanitation Needs

April 19, 2013

Grand Prize Winners of the Sanitation App Challenge Travel to Washington, D.C. for Award Ceremony during World Bank-IMF Spring Meetings, and on to Silicon Valley “Inspiration Tour”

WASHINGTON, April 19, 2013 – The World Bank today announced the three grand prize winners of the Sanitation Hackathon and App Challenge, a yearlong project to surface innovative and locally relevant apps that address sanitation challenges, such as insufficient wastewater management and sanitation facilities, that affect 2.5 billion people worldwide.

The Sanitation Hackathon and App Challenge demonstrate how creativity and technology can help to develop locally relevant and sustainable solutions to longstanding development challenges,” said Rachel Kyte, Vice President of Sustainable Development at the World Bank.

Alongside strong policies and financing mechanisms, this open and innovative approach to problem solving will be critical to improving sanitation around the world. This is key to ending poverty and boosting shared prosperity for the poorest people,” she said.

The three grand prize winning teams emerged from over 70 that registered following a global hackathon event that engaged technologists and sector experts in 40 cities from Lima, Peru, to Pune, India, and beyond. As part of the award, the grand prize winners traveled from their hometowns to Washington, DC to participate in an event at the World Bank-IMF Spring Meetings. From Washington they will travel on to California for a tour curated by that that will include workshops, site visits, and knowledge exchange about principles in human-centered design.

The grand prize winners are:

  • mSchool, developed by Manobi, a mobile and internet services firm headquartered in Dakar, Senegal, is an SMS reporting tool that enables students, parents, and teachers to monitor and report on school sanitation facilities. mSchool maps all complaints, and contains a back-end dashboard that enables the Ministry of Education, regional governments, and civil society to track when and where complaints are made - and if they are met.
  • Sun-Clean, developed by a team of students at the University of Indonesia, is an app designed to teach children good sanitation and hygiene practices in an entertaining way. The Sun-Clean app, includes two games: Disposal Trash and Hand Wash for Kids.
  • Taarifa, created by a team of developers based in England, Germany, the United States and Tanzania, is an open source web application that enables public officials to tag and respond to citizen complaints about the delivery of sanitation services. It includes data collection, visualization and interactive mapping functionality in addition to a back-end data management tool.

The Sanitation Hackathon involved an extensive, six-month process of consultations with local communities, computer scientists, and sector experts to identify problems with the potential for technology-based solutions to meet sanitation needs. On December 1 and 2, 2012 over 1,000 mobile app developers collaborated in developing apps to improve service delivery in a 40-city global hackathon event organized by the World Bank and by Random Hacks of Kindness. Over 700 mobile app developers then continued building their apps, which are catalogued by category and function on the website, which also enables users to rate an app’s utility. 

Over 100 local partners supported Sanitation Hackathon events. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provided financial support alongside the World Bank, and Toilet Hackers provided critical in-kind support. The Sanitation Hackathon follows the Water Hackathon, organized by the World Bank Group in 2011, as the second global, open development project engaging IT and development professionals in the development of apps designed to improve the quality of, and access to, water and sanitation services.  For more information, visit

Follow the discussion on Twitter using the hashtag #sanhack.

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