The 100 finalist proposals for DM2009 were selected from 1,755 international applications through a rigorous two-stage assessment process guided by the principles of fairness, transparency, and consensus. Nearly 200 experts from the World Bank Group and a range of other organizations volunteered their time to serve as assessors, each reviewing 20 to 35 proposals.
Each proposal was evaluated by a minimum of three assessors from a diverse range of backgrounds. Assessors individually read an assigned batch of proposals and then, grouped in teams of three to five, narrowed down the number of proposals through discussion and consensus. At least one person in each assessment team participated from outside the World Bank Group to ensure a varied perspective.
Proposals were evaluated against the criteria of innovation, results, project design and organizational capacity, sustainability, and growth potential. Special emphasis was placed on innovation, as DM's foremost interest is to find new, creative and innovative approaches to weather-threatened settlements and agriculture, especially in developing countries.
The top 10 finalist countries were: Peru, Philippines, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Kenya, Ecuador, India, Nepal, Cambodia, and Colombia.