ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao has announced the 18 winners of the WSIS Prizes at WSIS Forum 2017, taking place at the Geneva International Conference Centre.
WSIS Prizes provides a platform from which to identify and showcase success stories across the 11 WSIS Action Lines defined in the Geneva Plan of Action. This year's theme focused on initiatives that also supported the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The awards are conferred through an open online voting process, which this year engaged over 300,000 stakeholders from around the world, with a record number 1.1 million votes cast by WSIS stakeholders. Nearly 500 projects were submitted by the WSIS stakeholder community, by far the highest number of submissions since the annual WSIS Prizes initiative was launched six years ago. From these submissions, 345 projects were nominated for the 2017 contest, reflecting both the prestigious nature of the award and the increasing role of ICTs in development strategies.
"The rich variety of winning projects recognized by WSIS Prizes 2017 demonstrates the varied roles that ICTs can play to support the SDGs," said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. "These Winners and Champions represent the most innovative and successful ICT for development initiatives around the world, and exemplify the diversity of the WSIS multi-stakeholder community."
WSIS Prizes 2017 winners include government departments, international organizations, private sector companies, NGOs and academia. In addition to the 18 category Winners, are 72 Champions (the first four runner-up projects in each category).
In line with the inclusive, multi-stakeholder character of the WSIS Process, the prizes recognize the outstanding achievements of a wide range of organizations. This year's 18 Winners, by WSIS Action Line, are:
- Action Line C1 The role of government and all stakeholders in the promotion of ICTs for development
Winner: Adqar's e-safe school online safety, Kalifa Empowerment Program for Students, United Arab Emirates
- Action Line C2 Information and communication infrastructure
Winner: South-to North water diversion (Eastern route) communication optical cable project for the water resources dispatch and management system, China Communications Technology Co., Ltd., People's Republic of China
- Action Line C3 Access to information and knowledge
Winner: DAISY-standard accessible reading materials for students with visual and print disabilities, Access to Information (a2i) Programme, Prime Minister's Office, People's Republic of Bangladesh
- Action Line C4 Capacity building
Winner: Puntos México Conectado Programme, Ministry of Communications and Transportation, Mexico
- Action Line C5 Building confidence & security in the use of ICTs
Winner: Multimedia distance-learning course on the safe use of Internet resources, A.S. Popov Odessa National Academy of Telecommunications, Ukraine
- Action Line C6 Enabling environment
Winner: Egypt's National Program for ICT Accessibility in Education for Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Arab Republic of Egypt
- Action Line C7 E-government
Winner: Rendering of state and municipal services in electronic format, Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russian Federation
- Action Line C7 E-business
Winner: National Trade Platform, Singapore Customs, Republic of Singapore
- Action Line C7 E-learning
Winner: E-learning and Virtual Classroom System, Kuwait University, State of Kuwait
- Action Line C7 E-health
Winner: Informed: an innovation, socializing project at the service of Cuban public health; National Information Center for the Medical Sciences, Cuba
- Action Line C7 E-employment
Winner: Social Network for Health Promoting Hospital, Advanced Info Services, Thailand
- Action Line C7 E-environment
Winner: Greenmap Belarus, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection of the Republic of Belarus, Republic of Belarus
- Action Line C7 E-agriculture
Winner: Electronic Application System, Rural Support Service, Republic of Latvia
- Action Line C7 E-science
Winner: Communication Technology and Networking for Development, World Science Project, Ghana
- Action Line C8 Cultural diversity & identity, linguistic diversity
Winner: Turkcell "Hello, Hello" Mobile App for Integration of Syrian Refugees, Turkcell, Turkey
- Action Line C9 Media
Winner: Agribusiness TV, MediaProd, Burkina Faso
- Action Line C10 Ethical dimensions of the Information Society
Winner: Internet Sehat (Internet Healthy) Towards Indonesian Information Society, ICT Watch – Indonesia, Republic of Indonesia
- Action Line C11 International & regional cooperation
Winner: African School on Internet Governance, Association for Progressive Communications, Republic of South Africa
Detailed descriptions of all WSIS Prizes 2017 winning projects are available at:
WSIS Prizes is an international contest developed in response to requests from WSIS stakeholders to create an effective mechanism to evaluate and recognize individuals, governments, civil society, local, regional and international agencies, research institutions and private sector companies for outstanding success in implementing development-oriented strategies that leverage the power of ICTs. The WSIS Prizes contest is an integral part of the WSIS stocktaking process (www.wsis.org/stocktaking). The contest was held for the first time in 2012, and has rapidly gained attention and popularity within the ICT for Development (ICT4D) community.