Global Prize for IT Benefiting Youth in Developing Countries

June 20, 2006Andrea Calabrese

The Development Gateway Foundation is calling for nominations for its US$100,000 prize for outstanding achievement in the use of information and communication technologies to improve lives in developing countries.

Sponsored in part by Intel Corporation, this year’s Development Gateway Award is focusing on initiatives that empower or improve the conditions of youth.

The award will be launched here today at the United Nations’ World Urban Forum III, at a special reception for youth participants following the close of this weekend’s World Youth Forum. Both events have gathered people from around the world to focus on critical development issues. Both individuals and organizations are eligible to apply for the award. Applicants must demonstrate that their initiatives are successful, sustainable and replicable. The initiatives must also show significant impact on youth in areas that are important to social and economic development, such as employment, education, health or agriculture.

“Better access to basic information or services through technology can change the life of a poor person,” said Mark Fleeton, Chief Executive Officer, Development Gateway Foundation. “As first adopters of new technologies, young people in urban areas can often benefit most quickly. As entrepreneurs, they are also critical to spreading the benefits across their communities and to the rest of the world.” In 2005 the award was presented to the ITC eChoupal program in India for its overall contribution to development. eChoupal has helped increase the incomes and productivity of millions of farmers by giving them more direct access to markets, as well as pricing and product information, via village-based Internet kiosks. eChoupal is now expanding its service to include education.

For full award criteria and to access an online application, please go to www.developmentgateway.org/award. The application deadline is August 11.