Human Development Media Awards 2011 - Winners Announced

Dec 13, 2011

Photo: UNDPLaoPDR/Toby Fricker

The winners of the inaugural Human Development media awards 2011 received their prizes in a ceremony at the Don Chan Palace Hotel.

The Human Development media awards were established to recognize the role of the Lao media in contributing to the Lao publics understanding of the human development concept. Journalists were asked to submit articles that put people at the centre of their stories and reflected the theme of this year's global Human Development Report (HDR), Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All.

First place went to, Mr. Viengsavanh Phengphachan , from the Vientiane Times, for his story, titled, ‘Rattan project brings renewed hope for villagers'. The judges felt that his article, which focuses on the sustainable use of forestry products to improve livelihoods, clearly reflected the theme of this year's global HDR.

The runner-up was Mr. Somsack Pongkhao, also from the Vientiane Times, for his article, ‘From hopeless to hopeful'. His human interest story focuses on the life of thirty seven year old Ms. Yaeng who secures work to preserve and promote village handicrafts. The judges were impressed with the story's clear representation of how Ms. Yaeng's family life and opportunities have improved since her new employment.

In third place was Ms. Phonesavanh Doungmala, from the Lao Patthana Newspaper, for her submission titled, ‘Our future is what we create'. This was more of an opinion article; however the judges felt that it highlighted some of the key challenges to human development including the environment, education and population issues.

The judges for the awards included, Dr. Leeber Leebouapao, Director General, National Economic Research Institute (NERI), Mr. Boualapanh Thanphilom, Vice President and Secretary General, Lao Journalists Association and Ms. Kyoko Yokosuka, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP.

Speaking at the ceremony, Ms. Yokosuka said, “To achieve human development, all sectors of society must play their role, including the media. The media have a key role to play in furthering the rights and opportunities of people through access to information. This is why this year we launched the Human Development media awards.”

The awards ceremony marked the start of a one and a half day Human Development training workshop conducted by the Human Development Report Unit from the UNDP Asia Pacific Regional Bureau. Government representatives from a number of Ministry's, who will play a key role in the development of the National Human Development Reports, participated in the training. The awards were organized by the Lao Journalists Association with support from NERI and UNDP.

First prize was Kip 5 million ($625), second prize, Kip 3 million ($375) and third prize, Kip 1.5 million ($188). In addition, all three journalists received a trophy and certificate.

Contact information

Toby Fricker at the UNDP Public Information Unit
Tel: (021) 267 777

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