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Photo Contest: 30 Years After Spitak

October 31-November 25, 2018



Since the 1988 Spitak earthquake, Armenia has made significant strides in strengthening its disaster response capacity. Photo credit: Serouj Ourishian via Wikimedia Commons

Located in one of the most seismically active regions of the world, Armenia is highly vulnerable to seismic risk, which has been exacerbated by rapid urbanization. A devastating example of this vulnerability was the December 7, 1988 Spitak earthquake, which affected 40% of the country: 514,000 people were left without shelter, 20,000 were injured and more than 25,000 killed, and economic losses were estimated at US$ 15-20 billion.

Much has changed in Armenia since then. In the lead up to the 30th Anniversary of the Spitak Earthquake, the World Bank and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) are inviting photographers from Armenia, and around the world, to participate in a photo contest dedicated to “Building Disaster Resilience Across Armenia”. The goal of the photo contest is to celebrate and pay tribute to the inspiring resilience of the Armenian people affected by the devastating 1988 Spitak Earthquake.

    1. Contestants may submit up to 3 photos via this link in English or Armenian with the theme of “Building Disaster Resilience across Armenia” that show the different dimensions of disaster resilience in Armenia at the individual/family/community/neighborhood/city level, looking at, for example, community empowerment, local disaster-resistant infrastructure, or resilient cultural heritage sites.
    2. Entries must include the following information: your name, phone number, and email address.
    3. Each photo must be accompanied by a caption, written in English or in Armenian and containing no more than 2–3 sentences (30 to 40 words). The caption should include the hashtag #30YearsAfterSpitak so it could be adapted for use on social media.
    4. Initial entries must be in JPEG format at a resolution of 800x600 pixels, either in portrait or landscape layout, and not more than 5MB in size. Shortlisted photos will need to be re-submitted in higher resolution.
    5. The photograph accurately reflects the subject matter and scene as it appeared, and it has not been digitally altered beyond standard optimization (removal of dust, cropping, adjustments to color and contrast, etc.).
    6. Entries must be original and unpublished. No previously published photos will be accepted.  Contestants should be prepared to certify this attestation on request. If requested, contestants must also be able to obtain all necessary third-party releases (human subjects in the photographs, including parental/guardians’ approval for minors).
    7. Extra photos.  Have more than three photos to share? We highly encourage you to share your images on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms. Promote the contest and your photos by tagging them with #30YearsAfterSpitak

    Deadline: All entries must be submitted by 11:30 pm EDT, November 25, 2018.

  • 1. The World Bank will shortlist a selection of 10 finalists (10 photos).

    2. Only shortlisted entries will be contacted.

    3. A panel of judges will rank the 10 photos and, on November 30, 2018, will choose 3 winning photos to be awarded prizes for vivid, memorable work that aptly captures what disaster resilience look like in Armenia, and what it means to recover in the context of challenges and disruptions caused by a catastrophic earthquake.

    4. Entries will be judged based on the following criteria:

        a) Clarity and relevance of the topic;

        b) creativity; and

        c) photographic quality of the photograph.

    5. In addition, the panel of judges will select 3 honorary mentions, aligned with the following proposed themes: community empowerment, local disaster-resistant infrastructure, and resilient cultural heritage sites.

    6. Any form of plagiarism or copyright infringement will result in automatic disqualification.

    7. Decisions made by the panel of judges will be final.

  • The winners and prizes will be announced on the 30th Anniversary of the Spitak Earthquake - December 7, 2018.

    1. The Award Ceremony will be included as part of the commemoration events in Gyumri, Armenia; the expected duration is about 30 – 40 minutes.

    2. The results will be communicated on the World Bank and GFDRR websites.

    3. The top 3 winners will receive cash prizes as follows:

    US$ 500 in cash for the Grand Prize winner,

    US$ 350 for second place, and

    US$ 150 for third place. 


    a.  there will be 3 honorary mentions, aligned with the following proposed themes: community empowerment, local disaster-resistant infrastructure, and resilient cultural heritage sites; and

    b. the top 10 entries will be featured on the World Bank Website in December 2018-January 2019, including the printed version of the photos for an accompanying booklet showcasing the photos, and will be displayed outside the conference halls.

  • By submitting an entry to this contest, every Contestant agrees and accepts the terms set forth below. If you do not agree with these terms, do not submit an entry.

    Profile, rights and obligations of contestants.

    - The Contest is open to individuals from Armenia and around the world who are not active staff of the World Bank, including consultants, interns, contractors and their employees. Family members and relatives of World Bank staff are eligible to participate, except for family members and relatives of World Bank staff involved in the Armenia National Disaster Risk Management Program.

    - Contestants must be over the age of 18 when entering.

    - Contestant acknowledges that all entries in this Contest are public and not private communications.  Further, Contestant acknowledges that chats, postings, conferences, e-mails and other communications by other Contestants are not endorsed by the panel of judges, and/or the World Bank and/or its partners, and such communications shall not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by the panel of judges and/or the World Bank and/or its partners.

    - Contestant declares, represents and warrant that Contestant is the rightful owner of the entry, and of all the patents, copyrights, and/or trademarks associated with the entry. By entering this contest Contestant further declares, represents and warrants that Contestant has not (a) infringed on any third party rights, including copyrights, trademarks, industrial property, trade secrets, confidentiality obligations and rights of privacy and publicity, and that Contestant has obtained the necessary written release(s) or permission(s) to use any third party rights or intellectual property, including any trademarks appearing on Contestant’s Entry, or (b) violated any applicable law(s) in any countries in the world.

    By entering this contest Contestant further agrees that the panel of judges has the right to verify the ownership and originality of any entry and that upon request, Contestant shall submit a written copy of any release or permission Contestant has received from a third party granting Contestant the right to use such property. Contestant understands that in the event a submission is selected as a winning entry, and Contestant’s ownership rights and the originality of Contestant’s entry cannot be verified to the satisfaction of the panel of judges or is in any other way ineligible, the panel of judges may select an alternate winner based on the same judging criteria.

    - The panel of judges reserves the right for any reason to remove without notice any contents of the entries received from Contestants.

    - Contestant shall not do any of the following:

    • Defame, abuse, harass, stalk, threaten or otherwise violate the legal rights (such as rights of privacy and publicity) of others.
    • Publish, post, distribute or disseminate any defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent or unlawful material or information.
    • Upload or attach files that contain software or other material protected by intellectual property laws (or by rights of privacy of publicity) unless Contestant owns or control the rights thereto or have received all necessary consents.
    • Upload or attach files that contain viruses, corrupted files, or any other similar software or programs that may damage the operation of another's computer.
    • Delete any author attributions, legal notices or proprietary designations or labels in any file that is uploaded.
    • Falsify the origin or source of software or other material contained in a file that is uploaded.
    • Advertise or offer to sell any goods or services, or conduct or forward surveys, contests, or chain letters. Download any file posted by another Contestant that Contestant knows, or reasonably should know, cannot be legally distributed in such manner.
    • You retain copyright and remain the owner of your images and may also continue to use them in any manner you choose, regardless of whether your entry is selected as a winner or runner-up. You agree that the images you submit may be publicly exhibited, used in printed publications of the World Bank, its social media platforms, its websites, or in any other media, and may be copied and displayed in any country with appropriate attribution to you as the photographer. GFDRR and the World Bank Group hold copyright to the collection of photos that constitute the Armenia Spitak Earthquake Photo Contest.
    • The World Bank Group reserves the right to publish and/or to make available to the public the all submissions. The World Bank reserves the right to modify the format and content of the submissions for publication purposes. 

    Failure to comply with these Terms may result in disqualification from the Contest. The panel of judges and/or World Bank are not responsible for any typographical or other error in the printing of the Contest, administration of the Contest or in the announcement of the awards.  The World Bank may update and/or modify the terms and conditions of this Contest in their sole discretion, and Contestant agrees to accept and be bound by any updates and/or modifications.

    Grounds for disqualification. If after announcing the winners the panel of judges find and/or determine that a winning Contestant has misrepresented, misstated, or mischaracterized Contestant’s entry of this Contest in any way or Contestant is not the rightful owner of the submitted entry, the entry may be withdrawn and disqualified from the Contest, and any privileges received by winning this Contest may be rescinded.  Any determinations made by the panel of judges in withdrawing and disqualifying any entry will be final and confidential.  By entering this Contest Contestant agrees to keep any controversies between Contestant, the panel of judges and/or the World Bank confidential and Contestant further agrees not to disparage the panel of judges, and/or the World Bank, in any dispute or controversy.

    No Recourse to Judicial Procedures. To the extent permitted by law, the rights to litigate, to seek injunctive relief or to any other recourse to judicial procedure in case of disputes or claims resulting from or in connection with this Contest are hereby excluded, and Contestant expressly waives any and all such rights.

  • In Armenia, disaster risk management is increasingly recognized as an important aspect for the country’s sustainable development. Since the 1988 Spitak earthquake, Armenia has applied lessons learned and made significant improvements in strengthening its disaster response capacity, developing seismic zoning map, and upgrading its seismic building codes. 

    To strengthen Armenia’s resilience to such catastrophes, the Government, the World Bank and GFDRR are working together to improve disaster risk information, enhance risk reduction, strengthen preparedness and improve understanding of fiscal disaster risks. For example, the program provided technical assistance to conduct an in-depth seismic hazard assessment at the national level to provide the government with a comprehensive understanding of seismic risks throughout the country. Blending modern analysis methods with cutting-edge scientific research, has enhanced Armenia’s seismic zoning maps using up-to-date geological hazard scenarios. The new seismic zoning maps will serve as a basis to improve construction norms and land use standards, as well as evacuation routes.

    For more information:

    Armenia Takes Important Steps Toward a Disaster Resilient Future

    Armenia Country Risk Profile for Earthquakes and Floods

    Launch of Armenia National Disaster Risk Management Program


  • World Bank Office in Armenia: Telephone: 374 10 59 42 21 or 374 10 52 09 92