The first round of the Experiences in Social Innovation Award, an initiative of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, has closed with a total of 1,600 applications from all 33 Latin American and Caribbean member countries of ECLAC. This number includes 378 applications from Colombia, 338 from Brazil, 208 from Chile, 198 from Argentina, 118 from Mexico, and 99 from Peru. Local authorities submitted about 10% of the entries.
As for the subject areas, 18% of the projects entered in the contest are devoted to youth programmes, 16% to community health, 13% to rural development, nutrition and food security, 12% to corporate social responsibility and volunteer work, 12% to basic education, and 8% to income generation programmes, while 20% of the initiatives cover more than one of these subject areas.
The purpose of this award is to identify and acknowledge the merit of innovative initiatives in the area of social development and to analyse and systematize these projects so that lessons can be drawn from them and disseminated. It is hoped that the dissemination of these experiences will help improve social practices and policies for the population in the countries of the region.
The contest was open to municipal or local governments, community associations, religious communities, national and international non-governmental organizations and other non-profit private-sector institutions. Applications were accepted from for-profit entities only in the area of corporate social responsibility.
The award will be held on an annual basis for the next three years. In mid-2005 the 2005-2006 cycle will begin. A new call will be made for entrants from the 33 Latin American and Caribbean member countries of ECLAC.