Smart Villages Photography Competition 2017 for Photographers & Entrepreneurs ($USD 5,000 Prize)

Submission Deadline: April 30, 2017

Smart Villages, an initiative that explores the challenges and opportunities for access to decentralised energy acting as a catalyst for rural development, is holding a global photography competition.

This competition focuses on how energy access changes the life of rural communities around the world, and the concept of “Smartness” i.e., not just provision of off-grid energy to villages, but how that energy is being used in productive, innovative, and even entrepreneurial ways to achieve sustainable development outcomes for the individuals and communities concerned.

Photo categories

1. Productive uses of energy, such as agriculture, manufacturing,services, tourism

2. Sustainable rural energy for community services and rural development:  health, education, communication, water, sanitation, environmental preservation

3. Sustainable rural energy and gender (girls and women and boys and men)

4. Rural energy access and innovation: new technologies, new uses of technology, new solutions to problems, community innovations, etc


1. Everyone, regardless of nationality, background, age and experience, is welcome to participate and submit up to 3 photographs.

2. Entering the competition is free.

3. By submitting their photographs, entrants agree to license them under an Attribution and Share-alike Creative Commons license ( Note in particular that this allows works to be freely used, so long as they are correctly attributed to the entrant.

4. To enter you must upload your image or images on the website following the instructions on the screen.

5. Photographs taken with a mobile/cell telephone also qualify, provided their resolution is at least 2 Mb.

6. The photographs will be assessed on their content, composition, creativity and quality by a team of judges.

7. The photographs should have been taken in the period between Jan 2016 and April 2017.

8. Photographs must be submitted as a jpg or tiff files, with a minimum resolution of 2 Mb and no more than 5 Mb, saved in the RGB colour model.

9. Photographs must be submitted before April 30, and will be judged between May 1 and May 15 2017.

10. Winners will be notified by email by the end of May 2017. The decision of the judges is final.


  • US$2000 for the overall winner
  • US$1000 for the runner up
  • Two US$500 prizes for each of the four categories
  • One prize, of US$1000, is reserved for a junior photographer (under 18 years of age).

The winning photographs will be featured by the Smart Villages Initiative in a number of ways, including international exhibitions (particularly at our forthcoming policy workshops), incorporation in Smart Villages publications, and for use on our website and social media.

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Smart Villages Photography Competition 2017



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