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Nominations are open for the 2018/2019 UNESCO/Emir Jaber al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah Prize for Digital Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities. The aim of the Prize is to reward the outstanding contributions of individuals and organizations that promote inclusion and the enhancement of the lives of persons with disabilities in society through the effective, innovative and inclusive application of digital solutions.

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.

Thematic axes for 2018

The Prize builds on three thematic axes of importance in UNESCO’s work with persons with disabilities

·        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.

Award

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

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.

Eligibility

Candidates (individuals and institutions) must have distinguished themselves through outstanding activities that have contributed to the digital empowerment, as the processes whereby people are able to have more power and control over their lives, particularly in terms of greater inclusion, participation and contribution to societal development as well as enhanced life experiences.

UNESCO places special 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; and

·        building and strengthening capacities of people to create, adapt and use digital solutions in a cost efficient and sustainable manner.

The Prize recognizes the converged nature of Information and Communication Technologies (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; and

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

Nominations can be endorsed and proposed by Ministries in charge of relations with UNESCO, National Commissions for UNESCO and Non-governmental organizations having official relations with the Organization.

All applicants must complete the application form, either in English or French, available separately for individuals and institutions here.

Deadline: September 30, 2018 For more information, visit UNESCO.