Images provided by CGAP
Photographers from over 90 countries made this the most competitive year for the CGAP Photo Contest, which just finished its eighth consecutive competition. The winner of the 2013 CGAP Photo Contest is Truong Minh Dien of Vietnam. The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor works toward a world in which everyone has access to the financial services they need to improve their lives. CGAP develops innovative solutions for financial inclusion through practical research and active engagement with financial service providers, policy makers, and funders. Established in 1995 and housed at the World Bank, CGAP combines a pragmatic approach to market development with an evidence-based advocacy platform to advance poor people’s access to finance. Their global network of members includes over 30 development agencies, private foundations, and national governments that share a common vision of improving the lives of poor people with better access to finance.
The annual CGAP Photo Contest aims to highlight stand-out professional and amateur photographers depicting financial inclusion around the world. Through strong photography, CGAP showcases the different ways in which poor households manage their financial lives and how financial inclusion can make the lives of people at the base of the economic pyramid better.
A panel of four judges selected Dien’s photo, “Rainy Afternoon,” out of a record number of 3,890 entries from professional and amateur photographers in 91 countries. The 2013 panel of judges consisted of Suzanne Lemakis, Director of the Department of Fine Art at Citigroup, Mohammad Rakibul Hasan, the 2010 CGAP Photo Contest winner and professional photographer from Bangladesh, Stelios Varias of Reuters, and Indira Williams, the senior manager of visual resources at the Newseum.
The winning photo depicts a woman transporting potatoes to a local market in Vietnam during a downpour. The woman’s earnings help feed her husband and two children. The 2013 Grand Prize is a $2,000 gift certificate for photography equipment.
The judging panel appreciated “Rainy Afternoon” for the way it thoughtfully depicted the resilience of low-income entrepreneurs in Vietnam. “The photo really captured a great moment,” said Mohammad Rakibul Hasan, the 2010 CGAP Photo Contest Winner and guest judge for 2013.
In addition to the compelling story behind the winning image, the judges felt that it was technically excellent. “It takes a disciplined photographer to step back and take a picture like this,” said Stelios Varias, a senior photographer and editor from Thomson Reuters and one of the four judges. “It’s incredibly hard to get a good shot in the rain.”
The judges also selected 28 other photos from around the world as regional winners, finalists, and special mentions, which were chosen for both technical excellence and depiction of the stories and faces behind financial inclusion. Of particular note was the South Asia regional winner, “Brick Worker,” submitted by Moksumul Haque of Bangladesh. The photo captures bricks tossed in mid-air, leaving the viewer wondering what happened immediately after the picture was taken.