World Bank - Microsoft Regional Grant competition for young Coders announces winners in Bangladesh and Nepal

October 21, 2014

Connecting Coders and NGOs for creating opportunity and social goods

October 01, 2014, Dhaka: The World Bank and Microsoft together today held the final round of the regional grant competition ‘Coding your way to opportunity” and announced the winners from Bangladesh and Nepal.  The winners received from US $ 15,000 – US $ 20,000 each to implement innovative ideas that will expand coding knowledge among the youth, helping them to secure and create gainful employment.

The World Bank and Microsoft held the second regional grant competition for the youth led organizations and NGOs, with Sarvodaya Fusion coming in as the coordinating and implementing partner in four South Asia countries – Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives and Sri Lanka. The goal of the grant was to train young people to enhance their work and activities through the use of coding and information technology.  

South Asia is home to the world’s largest working age youth population. Learning about Coding and computing has become an essential job-skill in today’s world,” said Christine Kimes, Acting Country Head, World Bank BangladeshWe are confident that youth can find innovative solutions to the challenges they face. The competition would help to raise awareness about coding. Learning to code can propel job creation and development, and boost shared prosperity.”

The winners of the competition were Better Stories Limited from Bangladesh and Robotics Association from Nepal. A similar event will be held in Sri Lanka this week, where the finalists of Sri Lanka will compete. Today, four finalists from Bangladesh and three finalists from Nepal presented their proposal to a panel of judges, comprising of IT and development experts.

Microsoft & World Bank informs that this year, the competition had received over seventy projects from Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives.

“Through our global YouthSpark program Microsoft is committed to helping young people around the world achieve their employment, education or entrepreneurship dreams.  Through this technology partnership with World Bank we see a huge opportunity for young people in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Nepal to benefit from the work of <insert NGO winners here >. ” said Clair Deevy, Corporate Social Responsibility Lead for Asia Pacific, who flew in for the event in Bangladesh.

The competing project proposals were judged against the criteria such as coding knowledge; use of technology in the delivery of services to beneficiaries; if the project provides employment opportunities; its participatory aspect; and use of the team’s organizational strengths and the use of partnerships to leverage maximum usage of resources.  Other factors considered were, the capability of the projects to reach completion within the 12 month period of the disbursement of the grant, the strength of their sustainability plans and if they had the capacity to be replicated beyond the project period. 

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