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Public Sector and Governance

Words That Echoed Across DM2009 Competition

Tom Grubisich's picture

“I came here thinking of my people.  I leave here thinking of our planet.”

That's how finalist winner Carlos Daniel Vecco Giove of Peru summed up what DM2009 meant for him.  (Vecco was honored for his proposal to aid the Amazonian indigenous populations in his country in adapting to rapid climate change.)

Vecco's stirring words echoed around the floor of the competition, on up to the podium during the Friday, Nov. 13, awards ceremony, where a rapt audience heard Warren Evans, Environment Director of the World Bank, say: "Let me share with you what I heard that one of our finalists who traveled here from far away said this week."

One way or another, the other finalists expressed the same thought -- if not in so many words, then in the potential for their projects to bring innovative but practical climate adaptation not only to their target community but to people and places across regions and countries...to the whole planet.

DM2009 Winners Face More Funding Hurdles

Tom Grubisich's picture

Development Marketplace awards to winners range up to $200,000 -- to cover what is called "early-stage" or seed development of projects.  But after that period -- usually one or two years -- any project, no matter how promising it looks, has to find new funding.

DM2009 juror Tran Triet of Vietnam, a DM2003 winner, talked about projects that seek to transform a community both environmentally and economically -- the ambitious aim of many of the DM proposals, winners and non-winners alike.  At the panel on "Taking an Idea to Scale," Dr. Tran said: "A long-term commitment is needed.  The social agenda takes time to happen.  The normal [Development Marketplace] funding cycle of one or two years would be too short to bring about changes."

Juror Fred Onduri, who is chair of the Least Developed Countries Expert Group with the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change as well as head of the Policy and Planning Department of the Ugandan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, says two years "is not enough."  He thinks the national governments of the countries where the winning projects would be developed should fund them in the out years.

Ideas, anyone?

The Drama of Climate Change: Nigerian Wins at DM2009

Tom Grubisich's picture

Nnaemeka Chidiebere Ikegwuonu of Nigera was one of the 26 winners at DM2009 with a project that would create a radio drama aimed at educating small farmers on how how to better manage the risk of growing crops in extreme weather that swings from storms to droughts.

While accepting congratulations, Ikegwuonu said, "There is a saying in our local Igbo language, 'To whom much is given, much is expected.'  Thanks to this award, within 18 months, small farmers living in southeastern Nigeria will mitigate and adapt to climate change by integrating local knowledge and external technology."

Through a network of 15 radio stations, the series will be able to reach a potential audience of 15 million in southeastern Nigeria.  Listener clubs will be able to broadcast feedback through solar-powered radios.

 

DM2009 Winner Is Doubly Happy

Tom Grubisich's picture

Clutching two crystal globes at Friday's DM2009 awards ceremony was David Manalo of the Philippines, who won with two of his three finalist projects -- one for "bell and bottle" rain gauges to provide an early warning system against storm-caused floods and landslides, and the other to put 2,000 to 2,400 people rural people on the electrical grid through floating hydropower generators.

"I didn't expect this," he said, elated but a bit dazed from his and his projects' double honors.  "Winning once would make me more than happy."

Manalo's brother, Eugenio, a partner in the early-warning project, stayed behind in the Philippines to aid victims of recent typhoons.  "I will call him, but not right now – he's sleeping," said David, at 1 a.m. Manila time.

Sponsors Who Made DM2009 Happen

Tom Grubisich's picture

Development Marketplace couldn't happen without its sponsors, who donated nearly $5 million for this year's event.  Here they are, from left, at the Friday morning awards ceremony -- William Ehlers, team leader of the Global Environment Facility; Elwyn Grainer-Jones of the International Fund for Agricultural Development; Danish Ambassador to the U.S. Friss Arne Petersen; Warren Evans, World Bank Environment Director; and Sanjay Pradhan, Vice President of the World Bank Institute.

High and Low, Climate Change Imperils Latin America and Caribbean

Tom Grubisich's picture

From mangrove forests to the Amazon Basin to the High Andes, Latin America and the Caribbean are threatened by climate change.  And so are Indigenous Peoples who live in these sensitive environments.

So it's not that surprising, perhaps, that of the 100 finalists in DM2009, 39 come from Latin American and Caribbean countries -- 12 from Peru alone.

One of the Peru projects seeks to "blend Western science and indigenous knowledge systems [and] know-how" to help bring buen vivir (good living) to the indigenous community of Potato Park in the High Andes through the development of new tuber varieties resistant to extreme climate conditions.

"Extreme conditions are showing up more often with more force throughout the region," said Alejandro Argumedo, director of the Association ANDES project (in photo at left with researcher Katrina Quisumbing Katrina Quisumbing King and Alejandro ArgumedoKing).  "With global warming we are seeing the emergence of a new climate, and it's coming very fast."

In Belize, "the impact of climate change is exacerbated by a combination of deforestation and tourism that is shrinking the mangrove forests that act as a sponge against storm-caused flooding," said Gregory Ch'oc, executive director of Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (in photo at right with technical coordinator Lynette Gomez).  The indigenous communities of this ecoystem are heavily impacted by the natural and manmade forces of destruction. Ch'oc's group seeks to help one hard hit indigenous district with community-based solutions for forest management that would begin with an inventory of the flora at risk.

DM2009 Juror: 'I Would Give Them All a Thumbs Up'

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Looking at the 11 finalist projects he was assisgned to evaluate, juror Fred Onduri says: "I am so impressed.  I would give them all a thumbs up. I wish they could all be winners."

Onduri, who is chair of the Least Developed Countries Expert Group with the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change as well as head of the Policy and Planning Department of the Ugandan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is one of the 40 jurors who took a searching look at the 100 projects that were winnowed from the 1,750 applications proposing early-stage adaptation to climate change.  Their goal was to choose up to 25 winners.

Onduri said the winners would have a better chance of long-term success if they were incorporated in the national priorities of the governments of the countries where the projects would be undertaken.  "Their funding will carry them for about two years," Onduri said.  "That's not enough.  Sustainability is very critical."

He also said that the winning projects' chance of ultimate success would be improved if jurors could offers ways to improve the proposals, especially in closing what he called "the sustainability gap."

Onduri and his colleagues used five criteria in their evaluations:

From Finalist Winner in 2003 to Juror in 2009

Tom Grubisich's picture

DM2009 team member Alexandra Humme shares this story:

During our live webcast on Wednesday (Nov. 11) I interviewed Dr. Tran Triet from Vietnam. He is a juror at this year's Development Marketplace. But six years ago, he was one of the finalists and eventually a winner of the 2003 Development Marketplace on Biodiversity. Dr. Tran comes from Phu My Village in Kien Giang Province, a small place located in the southwest corner of Vietnam, close to Cambodia.

Phu My Village is home to 5,000-acre wetland which supports a vast grassland ecosystem of the Mekong River Delta. The Phu My wetland is not only important for bioddiversity

conservation but also provides an economic base to the Khmer ethnic minority who harvest Lepironia (photo at right) for production of woven goods.

In 2003, Dr. Tran, who is working for the Crane Foundation in Vietnam and also is with Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City, presented the "Ha Tien - Habitats - Handbags" project which protects this important wetland by implementing an innovative model that combines nature conservation with improving daily income of local people whose livelihood depends on harvesting natural resources from the wetland.

The project provided skill training to enable local people to make fine handicraft products like hats and handbags from the Lepironia sedge they harvested. The project also assists local community in marketing and selling their products to higher-value tourist and export markets.

With the Development Marketplace award of about US$ 200,000, the project was able to expand its work and eventually 

Climate Change Bloggers Start to Lift the Market

Edith Wilson's picture

For so long, it's been hard to get conventional media to cover Development Marketplace.  Don't get me wrong, there has been some wonderful coverage over the 10 years we have been doing this.  But let's face it, these projects from developing countries are small. That's the whole point of DevMarketplace -- we want to find really creative, important ideas when they are small so we can help them grow.  So it's been really hard to get the BBC or the New York Times to do big stories. 

Flash forward 10 years, and the social media troops are coming to the rescue -- or should I say swarming?  Thank you all!  The bloggers, tweeters, and social networks are discovering us and lifting us like a wave.  Just today, one of the big bloggers on climate change, Bill Hewitt, at the Climate Change blog of the Foreign Policy Association found us and we were so excited to hear what Bill had posted about the competition (reproduced above).  He loved it -- because as he points out, living with climate change is going to take lots more solutions from the local level and we need this kind of program to find them.   And since you know we love our YouTube channel and our Flips, here's the moment when we found what Bill had posted about us

Ideas welcome on how we can do more to help all these 100 ideas get the audience they deserve -- and how we get them to the people who need them in China, India, Brazil, and many other countries dealing with the same difficult challenges of a changing climate.

DM2009 in the Blogsphere and Social Media -- So Far

Florian Sturm's picture

This is just a short resumé of what has happened today (Thursday, Nov. 11) and yesterday in the blogsphere and on social media in relation to Development Marketplace 2009.

Our aim was to reach a broad audience with the web 2.0 tools we are using, such as Twitter or Facebook. Also, we wanted to encourage our participants to share their projects with the world, using platforms such as Youtube or FlickR.

So far we are quite content -- here are some blog posts about this event:

 

Furthermore we gathered a lot of video footage from the event, live webcast and even self-made by the participants and organizers on the Development Marketplace 2009 Youtube channel.

Here is a video of Tuesday's opening of the event:


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