UNESCO's badly-run lottery

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

Flush from the triumph of its first UNESCO-Japan Prize on ESD, UNESCO has issued a second call for nominations for the next round (2016) where three lucky winners will receive $US 50,000.  It was awarded for the first time in November 2015 to organizations from Germany, Indonesia and Guatemala, and El Salvador.

UNESCO is inviting the permanent delegations of all UN member states, as well as NGOs in official partnership with, it to submit up to three nominations. The deadline for submission is 30 April 2016 (midnight Paris time).

A few thoughts on something that looks increasingly like a badly-run lottery ...

  • Is this really the best way to spend $150,000 + the considerable organisational on-costs?
  • Why only 3 prizes?  Why not 5 prizes of $30,000, or 10 of $15,000, or 15 of $10,000, or ...
  • Do the winners, who must be quite good at ESD, really need such large sums?
  • Why not regional winners – which would avoid the scandal in 2015 of nobody in Africa even getting a mention
  •  ...

All too radical, maybe.  This time, however, it would be good to have a 'highly commended' category, even if there's no cash involved.


Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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