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Grassroots Innovations Awarded to Combat Climate Change

May 6, 2010

Hanoi, May 5, 2010 – The 2010 Vietnam Innovation Day competition, on the theme of "Climate Change" today awarded 30 community projects, financial totaling above US$ 415,000. Winning project will get a grant of up to US$15,000 in seed money to test their innovative ideas and to scale up efforts to respond to climate change, from the mountainous to delta, from urban to rural areas.

Each of the winning proposals reflects the creativity of the Vietnamese in crafting their own solutions to the problems they face”, said Victoria Kwakwa, Country Director for the World Bank in Vietnam, and also a Juror. “They reflect the willingness of civil society and local communities to partners with Government in finding solutions.”

The winners were identified by a broadly-represented and highly respected panel of jurors from the Government, donors’ community, research institutions, civil society, and the media. They evaluated the proposals according to five criteria – contribution to addressing the issue of climate change, innovation and learning, feasibility, sustainability, reliability and participation and ownership.

The winning projects seek to respond to climate change by various means, from creating a math curriculum in schools with climate change contents, to establishing a café for young people as a place for climate change awareness raising, to improving the traditional cooker so that it emits less carbon dioxide. All the projects are highly appreciated for their creativity and the commitment of the project owners.

The competition, jointly organized by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Youth Union and the World Bank, was open between January and May and attracted 262 proposals of which 61 were selected as finalists.

This year’s event received the support in cash and in kind from the Royal Embassy of Denmark, Department for International Development (UK), New Zealand International Aid and Development Agency (NZAid), the French Development Agency (AFD), the United States Agency for International Development, the Embassy of Finland and the World Bank.

This year’s event sets many records, including the highest number of entries, highest number of finalists, highest number of jurors and biggest amount of money for award.

Since its inception, the VID program has seen an increasing numbers of applications, partners and donors. Over 2.000 applicants from across the country responded to the call for proposal, demonstrating a huge volume of innovative, local solutions to promote development and poverty alleviation. More than 2 million USD have been awarded to over 200 community initiatives so far.

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Nguyen Hong Ngan
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