Pover-T Tests: Predicting Poverty

Measuring poverty is hard. Thanks to the efforts of thousands of competitors, The World Bank can now build on open source machine learning tools to help predict poverty, optimize uses of survey data, and support work to end extreme poverty … #development

$15,000 in prizes
feb 2018
2,308 joined


Predicting Poverty - World Bank

The World Bank is aiming to end extreme poverty by 2030. Crucial to this goal are techniques for determining which poverty reduction strategies work and which ones do not. But measuring poverty reduction requires measuring poverty in the first place, and it turns out that measuring poverty is pretty hard. The World Bank helps developing countries measure poverty by conducting in-depth household surveys with a subset of the country's population. To measure poverty, most of these surveys collect detailed data on household consumption – everything from food and transportation habits to healthcare access and sporting events – in order to get a clearer picture of a household's poverty status.

Can you harness the power of these data to identify the strongest predictors of poverty? Right now measuring poverty is hard, time consuming, and expensive. By building better models, we can run surveys with fewer, more targeted questions that rapidly and cheaply measure the effectiveness of new policies and interventions. The more accurate our models, the more accurately we can target interventions and iterate on policies, maximizing the impact and cost-effectiveness of these strategies.

Competition End Date:

Feb. 28, 2018, 11:59 p.m. UTC

Place Prize Amount
1st $6,000
2nd $4,000
3rd $2,500
Bonus $2,500

Bonus Award: Top Contributor from Developing Country

In the spirit of thinking globally and acting locally, we're offering a bonus prize of $2,500 to the top contributor from a developing country.

Our partners at the World Bank Group have identified 84 qualifiying countries, which can be found here under the "LOW-INCOME ECONOMIES ($1,005 OR LESS)" and "LOWER-MIDDLE-INCOME ECONOMIES ($1,006 TO $3,955)" headings. If you or the majority of your team hold an official ID from one of these countries, you're eligible! Just make sure to fill out the Your Country field on the submission page to officially be considered for the prize.



Image courtesy of the World Bank Group