ITU launches World Summit on the Information Society Project prizes

The International Telecommunication Union has launched a series of prizes recognizing excellence in the implementation of projects and initiatives which further the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) goals of improving connectivity to information and communication technologies (ICTs), particularly within underserved communities.

The announcement comes in response to requests from participants at WSIS Forum 2011 for a mechanism to evaluate and reward individuals, governments, civil society, local, regional and international agencies, research institutions and private sector companies for the success of their efforts in implementing development-oriented strategies that leverage the power of ICTs. The new WSIS Project Prizes are now an integral part of the WSIS Stocktaking Process established in 2004.

“The WSIS process is one of the pillars of ITU’s development agenda. We are delighted to be able to publicly recognize the excellent work being carried out by stakeholders around the world in making ICTs the motor of social and economic progress,” said Dr Hamadoun Touré, ITU secretary-general in a release.

The 18 prizes will provide international visibility and recognition, with winners showcased at a special event at the forthcoming WSIS Forum 2012. There will also be opportunities for the prize winners to extend their professional networks to facilitate the creation of new partnerships and financing opportunities. Winners will be highlighted in the 2012 edition of the WSIS Stocktaking Report on Success Stories.

The competition is open to all. Interested parties are invited to nominate a project by completing the online form at www.wsis.org/stocktaking/prizes. The cut-off date for submission of project descriptions is 20 January 2012.

The WSIS Stocktaking process provides a comprehensive register of ICT-oriented development activities carried out by governments, international organizations, the business sector, civil society and other entities.

The Tunis Agenda for the Information Society adopted by the 2005 Summit mandates ITU to maintain the WSIS Stocktaking Database as a publicly accessible system providing information on ICT-related initiatives and projects linked to the 11 WSIS Action Lines.