UNESCO Prize for Digital Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities Worths $40,000

Deadline : 02 Sep 2020

Nonprofit organization: UNESCO

Study level: Vocational Education

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UNESCO Prize for Digital Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities Worths $40,000

UNESCO ,in cooperation with Emir Jaber Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, is offering a prize for Digital Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities. Worldwide there are more than one billion persons with disabilities. Their existence is impeded by inadequate legal frameworks to protect their rights and a lack of financial and human resources to carry out their activities related to basic needs. Moreover, they also have a lack of opportunities to access information and knowledge, as well as the benefits of scientific and technological development.

Objectives of the Prize:-

  • The UNESCO/Emir Jaber Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah Prize for Digital Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (hereafter the Prize) is to recognize the outstanding contributions of individuals and organizations in promoting the inclusion; and enhancing the lives of persons with disabilities through the application of digital solutions, resources and technologies.
  • In line with UNESCO’s strategic objectives and especially the Major Programme Communication and Information, this includes translating human rights and fundamental freedoms into action, with a particular emphasis on removing barriers to enable greater access to information and knowledge, as well as learning and participation in society through the effective application of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).
  • The Prize has also direct thematic linkages to other UNESCO’s Major Programmes.

Eligibility Criteria:-

  • Eligible applicants

    • Eligible applicants are individuals (applying either individually, or representing a group of people) or organizations (an institution, non-governmental organization or other public or private entity).

  • Conceptual context

    • For the purposes of the Prize, the guidance in Section “Conceptual context of the Prize” above will apply, and applications that do not satisfy these directions will be excluded.

  • Experience

    • Individuals and organizations applying for the Prize must have been active in the field for a minimum of five years, and have proven results from their efforts and activities.

  • Not eligible recipients

    • Previous recipients of the UNESCO/Emir Jaber Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah Prize for Digital Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, or the UNESCO/Emir Jaber al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah Prize to Promote Quality Education for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities are not eligible to apply. Anyone else who submitted an application to previous editions of these prizes can submit a new application.

    • Members of staff of UNESCO as well as present and previous Jurors for this Prize may not apply.

  • Number of applications

    • Only one application may be submitted by any one individual, or by an organization, considered to include all of its parts. 

    • Should several entities within a single organization wish to be nominated, it is incumbent on the Head of that organization to select and authorize only one such application to be submitted on behalf of the organization. 

    • Should more than one application be received from an individual or from an organization, both will be excluded from consideration. Likewise, should both an individual and the organization which employs that individual apply, then both will be excluded.

  • Respect of procedures

    • Any nomination not submitted according to the procedures specified in Section “Application and nomination process” below and Statutes of the Prize will be excluded.

  • Language

    • All applications must be submitted in the English or French languages and on the application form specified. The preferred mode of submission is electronically, but if this is not possible then postal applications and nominations are also acceptable.

The Prize Value:-

  • The Prize will be awarded in each biennial edition and will be divided equally to:

    • An Individual Person.

    • An Organization.

  • The total amount available for the Prize biennially is USD $ 40,000, which will be distributed equally between the individual and the organizational winner.

  • UNESCO will publicize the Prize winners, and will seek to work with them to enhance and promote their continued activities in the field of the digital empowerment of persons with disabilities.

Thematic Axes:-

  • The Prize builds on three thematic axes of importance in UNESCO’s work with persons with disabilities, including an immediate response to the COVID-19 outbreak:
  • Formulating policy, advocacy, co-operation and partnerships.
  • Creating and developing digital solutions, enabling environments and processes, including tools and resources.
  • Building and strengthening the capacities of people to create, adapt and use digital solutions in a cost efficient and sustainable manner.

Conceptual context of the Prize:-

For the purposes of the Prize, the following conceptual context should be considered when preparing an application:

  • Digital Empowerment:The Prize defines digital empowerment as the processes whereby people are able to have more power and control over their lives through the use of digital solutions, resources and technologies, particularly in terms of greater inclusion, participation and contribution to societal development as well as enhanced life experiences. UNESCO places particular emphasis on the ways through which information and knowledge can contribute to the empowerment of persons with disabilities notably by:

    • Formulating policy, advocacy, co-operation and partnerships;

    • Creating and developing digital solutions, enabling environments and processes, including tools and resources;

    • Building and strengthening the capacities of people to create, adapt and use digital solutions in a cost efficient and sustainable manner.

  • Persons with Disabilities. The Prize uses a definition of persons with disabilities in alignment with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities(link is external) as “Persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others”.  Applicants are encouraged to clarify their own understandings and contexts of disability in their applications should they consider that this would be helpful.

  • Digital solutions, resources and technologies. The Prize recognizes the converged nature of many ICTs and adopts a broad definition of the term digital solutions as a combination of:

    • Digital technologies: any digital informational or communication device or application, including but not restricted to mobile phones, computers, laptops, televisions, radios, satellite systems, networks, hardware, software and applications.

    • Digital resources: content and information that are accessible through digital technologies.

    • Enabling environments and processes: standards, tools, physical, technical and online infrastructures, resources and locations.

  • Applicants are encouraged to justify their choice of digital resources, resources and/or technologies should these not self-evidently lie within this definition. It can be noted that UNESCO encourages the development and use of digital solutions based on open standards, accessible and openly licensed content and resources, and Free and Open Source Software (FOSS).

  • Organizations.

    • The Prize adopts a broad definition of organizations for the purpose of eligibility, including government departments, non-governmental organizations (including charitable organizations, faith-based organizations, research and educational organizations, trade unions, professional associations and foundations) and companies (both for-profit and social enterprises).  

    • Applicants must specify their formal registration details, and applications from informal groupings of people will not be considered.  An individual may, though, be nominated as a representative of a group of people.

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