2015 Global Development Conference Essay Competition for Young Students from the MENA region

Application Deadline: 10 April, 2015, 6pm (Indian Standard Time)

As part of its 16th Annual Global Development Conference, GDN organizes an essay competition with the support of Economic Research Forum (ERF). This competition is dedicated to young students from the MENA region who are between 21 and 29 years old.
It aims at selecting 20 students who will be invited to attend the Conference from 11 to 13 June in Morocco.
Participants have to write an essay of 2000- 2500 words on the following subject: Rural Development Strategies in the MENA Region. Submissions will be judged for both their analytical rigor and their quality of exposition and written expression. The paper must be innovative and able to put forward positive proposals for one of the following themes:
  • Rural Development and food security,
  • Natural resource management
  • Demographic pressure,
  • Institutions and government policies.
  • Age: students who are between 21 and 29 years old (on 10 June 2015) are eligible to apply.
  • Countries: participants must be registered in a university from one of the countries mentioned in the following list: Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey,United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
  • Past grantees and individuals that have been awarded a prize by GDN (including the finalists of the 2014 essay competition invited in Accra) are not eligible to apply.
  • Only individual submissions will be considered.
Essay Submission Format
Theme: Submissions have to deal with the following challenge: «Rural Development Strategies in the MENA Region» picking one of the following themes:
  • Rural development and food security: What kind of agricultural model to ensure food security? Which role for innovation and biotechnologies? What about small farmers? How to raise productivity?
  • Natural resource management: water (irrigation, pricing, scarcity,…), degradation of soil, biodiversity, impact of climate change on the yields and the cultures
  • Demographic pressure: job policies and employment perspectives in rural areas, migrations, rural and urban divide;
  • Institutions and government policies: Which role for local authorities, for farmers‟ cooperatives, water users associations, for local credit institutions? What about the social and cultural capital in rural areas? What kind of market intervention and trad e policies?
  • Word limit : the essay must contain between 2000 and 2500 words, excluding foot notes and reference lists.
  • Personal information about the author should not be mentioned.
  • Structure: the essay must be well structured with a title, an introduction, different parts that are clearly idendified, a conclusion and a reference list. Sources should be cited consistently.
  • Format: the submission must be in word format.
  • Language: the essay should be submitted only in English or French.
  • Travel and accommodation costs will be bear by the organizers.
  • The selected students will have the opportunity
  • (i) to attend the Conference and interact with seasoned researchers, civil society representative and policy makers,
  • (ii) to interact with each other and make new contacts,
  • (iii) and to attend a specific workshop tailored for them (the day before the Conference) so that they present their ideas to a high level panel.


How to participate?
  • Online submission: www.gdn.int/conf2015.
  • Only the essays submitted through the online platform will be considered. In particular, submissions via email will be rejected.
  • If you are unable to submit your application through the online platform, please contact GDN on essaymena2015@gdn.int with the subject line “Essay Competition 2015”.
  • Deadline for submissions : 10 April, 2015, 6pm (Indian Standard Time)
  • Results will be communicated on 30 April, 2015.
  • Only winning applicants will be contacted
For any queries related to the Essay Competition, please contact GDN at essaymena2015@gdn.int with the subject line “ Essay Competition 2015”.
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