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.
Agriculture and Rural Development
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?
Among the 36 jurors for the DM2008 grant competition was Thomas Pomeroy, a former USDA bilateral trade director in key regions of the world who now consults in Sub-Saharan Africa. We did this mini-interview with Pomeroy:
Q. As part of Team 10, you looked at 12 agribusiness proposals. What was your major criterion in scoring them?
Oscar Chemerinski, Director of the Agribusiness Department at the International Finance Corp. -- the commercial development arm of the World Bank Group -- gave this mini-interview at DM2008:
Q. What's your reaction to what you see on the floor among the booths of the hundred finalists?
Global Development Marketplace 2008 kicked off this morning with a warm welcome by Katherine Sierra, Vice President of Sustainable Development at the World Bank, to the 100 finalists representing 42 countries and event visitors.
Shree Krishna Updadhyay, Executive Chairman of the finalist Support Activities for Poor Producers of Nepal (SAPPOS-Nepal), and his colleague Govind Koirala appear to have logged the longest travel times to DM2008.
Monique Barbut, CEO and Chairwoman of the Global Environment Facility -- the largest funder of projects to improve the global environment and one of the funders of Development Markektplace 2008 -- talked about GEF's role in the grant competition.
Q. GEF deals with multimillion-dollar programs. DM2008's projects are in the $200,000 or less range. Why are they important to GEF?
Less-developed countries need many things – but, in most cases, nothing greater or more urgent than productive agriculture. Most of the world’s poorest people -- the 2.6 billion who try to survive on less than $2 a day – are family farmers whose small plots are unproductive and generally cut off from growing export markets. If these families could make the leap from subsistence to market-driven farming, world poverty would decline exponentially. It’s a big "if."