Barcelona, 7 October 2008 - At a time when global food prices soared, doubling or tripling over a 2-year period, leading to social unrest in about 50 countries, compromising poor people's food and nutrition security, and throwing many deeper into poverty, IFPRI proved remarkably innovative and effective, producing timely research on the food crisis, raising public awareness about it, informing policymakers, and providing an action plan ahead of others.
With the name of "Influencing Policy: Responses to the Global Food Crisis", this important initiative received the 2008 COM+ Communication Award during the World Conservation Congress, in Barcelona, in recognition of its response to the food crisis in real time, adjusting information to stakeholder needs as the crisis unfolded.
Meshing research and communications, IFPRI maintained a strong public voice throughout the period and provided answers to stakeholders on their key questions: (1) What is happening? (2) Why is it happening? (3) What are the consequences? And (4) What can be done to mitigate the effects and ensure that it does not happen again?
Undertaking both targeted and broad outreach (via website, special publications, high-level briefings, policy seminars, and media outreach), IFPRI addressed all audiences: policy advisers and policymakers, socially concerned citizens in civil society, and the general public. Because outreach began early and covered all stakeholders, IFPRI became the “go to source” on the crisis. For more information on IFPRI, please visit: www.ifpri.org.
Sergio Jellinek, Chair or the Steering Committee of the COM+ Alliance, said "the COM+ award is a unique distinction that gives an incentive to the best communications campaign in a central issue of the sustainable development agenda. This year the global competition was focused on the global food crisis. IFPRI -the winner- demonstrated a unique capability of combining research, advocacy and public awareness in such a critical issue for the developing world."
This year, the COM+ award had the support of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), and the collaboration of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), both COM+ members. The award includes a US$10.000 prize.
Other COM+ members awards: The Biodiversity Reporting Award (Conservation International) and the Reuters/IUCN Environmental Media Awards were also announced in a special ceremony that took place last October 7 th as part of the World Conservation Congress, in Barcelona, Spain. For more information on these awards, please visit: www.biodiversityreportingaward.org and www.iucn.org/media_awards.
The COM+ Alliance is a partnership of international organizations and communications professionals from diverse sectors committed to using communications to advance a vision of sustainable development that integrates its three pillars: economic, social, and environmental. Its main purpose is to serve as a clearinghouse for communications on sustainable development.