21 October 2008!
When it comes to developing cleaner, sustainable energy solutions, some of the most ingenious and practical ideas are coming out of rural communities in the developing world. Every year, small enterprises in Africa, Asia and Latin America apply for the Ashden Awards and win the chance to bring their sustainable energy solutions into the international arena.
This is my first blogging experience. While I have facility with technology, and I read political blogs, I have never felt compelled to share my thoughts out on the world-wide web as a younger generation does.
I’ve been reflecting on further lessons learned from our project that I could share with everyone. I’ve come up a number and they’re all interlinked. The first is that inevitably when you’re implementing innovative projects in complex contexts, you’re going to need to work with partners.
Among the visitors to 2008 Global Development Marketplace: Sustainable Agriculture for Development today was World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick.
Twenty-two project winners collected their crystal awards and grant checks in the 2008 Global Development Marketplace: Sustainable Agriculture for Development competition this morning.
Among the 22 winning projects in the DM2008 competition was Agricultural Cooperatives for Biodiversity Conservation in Cambodia, and collecting the award were Enterprise Planner Adviser Karen Nielsen and Technical Adviser Tom Clements (in photo).
"W'e're quite excited about having our project recognized as one of the more innovative ones," said Nielsen, clutching her team's award.
Under the project, "Wildlife-friendly" products grown in conservation-protected areas in Cambodia will be marketed nationally, including at tourism centers, by cooperatives in 10 villages.
Subhas Managuli made it to the finalists' circle, buthis Best Practices Foundation proposal to improve livestock health for 2,000 small farmers in 20 villages in India didn't make the final cut that produced the 22 winners who were announced Friday morning.
While their booths were temporarily closed during the exhibition, finalists, along with development community representatives, participated in Knowledge Exchange technical assistance workshops -- like this one on capacity building.
Three DM2008 jurors who are past grant winners are sharing their well-learned lessons with the hundred finalists.
Take 2006 winner Florence Cassassuce (in photo at right), who brought her water-purifying UV-light bucket to 900 villagers on the rural outskirts of La Paz in Baja California, Mexcio. Cassassuce, implementing her project with the advice of World Bank Senior Environmental Specialist Ricardo Hernandez Murillo, installed 3,500 buckets toward the goal of 6,00, ahead of schedule. But the original buckets didn't always work well, especially in the field, and improvements had to be made with better, and faster, plastic-injection manufacturing.
As the recently named Director of the Agriculture and Rural Development Department -- one of DM2008's funders --Juergen Voegele is leading a vigorous effort to re-energize and broaden the World Bank's commitment to agricultural development. During his peripatetic rounds of the competition, Voegele sat down for this mini-interview:
Q. What are your impressions of what you see on the floor of the exhibition?