Nohra Rey de Marulanda, the spokesperson for the group of experts responsible for selecting the five winning projects in the Experiences in Social Innovation Award, emphasized the quality of the 20 finalist projects in the 2004-2005 Cycle. “We were very satisfied to observe, in these projects, the sizable participation of women, likewise the creativity, imagination, professionalism and commitment of all the projects’ participants in tackling the difficult situations and shortfalls of Latin America and the Caribbean,” she said.
In its first year, the Experiences in Social Innovation Award, launched by ECLAC with the support of the Kellogg Foundation, received 1,600 entries. In the first stage, 89 projects were selected. Of these, 45 made it to the second round and received visits from evaluators, who got a more detailed look at the initiatives and were able to gauge each one’s impact on local communities. Thereafter, 20 finalists were selected. The identity of the judging panel was kept secret until the final stage of the competition.
The group of experts was comprised of members of United Nations working groups and commissions, such as Edelberto Torres Rivas, responsible for the UNDP Report, Rebecca Grynspan, from the ECLAC office in Mexico, and Nohra Rey, from the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB).
Two projects deserved special mention for their good practices: Brazil’s Living with the Semi-Arid Reality Project and Argentina’s Alternation Education for the Third Cycle of Basic General Education in Rural Areas. Another three received special recognition for paving the way for multiculturalism in the provision of healthcare services: Brazil’s Health and Education among the Hupdäh Indians, Chile’s Intercultural Health Program – Williche People of Chiloé, and Colombia’s Strengthening and Promoting the Traditional Medicine of the Indigenous Pijao and Páez Peoples (Tolima).
Published in Interaction nº 13