United Nations Development Programme
International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth

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Humanizing Development

Global Photography Campaign

How do you see development? How can you portrait the human face of the development processes? How do you show that development initiatives and programmes improve the lives of people? This Global Photography Campaign show examples of people winning the battle against poverty, social exclusion and marginalization. It is intended to raise awareness of the successes in the development process. The campaign is intended to counterbalance the frequently shown images of desolation and despair. A photo gallery will be permanently located at IPC-IG office and open for public visitation. A series of photo exhibitions will also be organized in several cities around the world. Everyone can and is strongly encouraged to participate in this global effort and contribute with a photograph. Join us now in showing development through a different lens! Let’s promote and share successful development initiatives! How can I participate?

We are pleased to announce the campaign’s 50 selected pictures, which are displayed below. We would like to thank all participants from over 100 countries who sent us their photos and shared their stories, dreams and challenges. We thank the partner institutions and the members of the Selection Committee for their contributions to this initiative. You have all made this campaign happen and helped us promote and show development trough new lenses. CONGRATULATIONS for the participants who submitted the 50 photos displayed below!

UN Logo.

Purpose of Development

"The basic purpose of development is to enlarge people's choices. In principle, these choices can be infinite and can change over time. People often value achievements that do not show up at all, or not immediately, in income or growth figures: greater access to knowledge, better nutrition and health services, more secure livelihoods, security against crime and physical violence, satisfying leisure hours, political and cultural freedoms and sense of participation in community activities. The objective of development is to create an enabling environment for people to enjoy long, healthy and creative lives."

Mahbub ul Haq
Founder of the UNDP Human Development Report

The themes

This campaign will enable people to contribute photographs related to a wide array of development situations, such as:

Promoting Inclusive Development

  • Overcoming poverty, social exclusion and marginalization
  • Building a brighter future and advancing human capacities
  • Fighting deprivation and expanding access to food, water, sanitation, education and health services for the poor
  • Promoting self-esteem, confidence and hope
  • Expanding access to education and improving its quality and social inclusiveness through innovative approaches

Promoting gender equality

  • Eliminating gender inequalities in the labour market. Empowering women
  • Promoting women's leadership and equal opportunity to develop talents
  • Enhancing women's potential and participation in development processes

Promotion of a Democratic Governance agenda

  • Building democratic governance and developing institutions and processes that are more responsive to the needs of ordinary citizens, including the poor. Alleviating exclusion, suffering, injustice and waste caused by corruption
  • Fighting discrimination, domestic violence, abuse and exploitation
  • Enlarging people's choices and supporting local development initiatives
  • Eliminating child labour and promoting decent work opportunities
  • Innovative initiatives on local development, enhancing the participation of communities in decision processes
  • Empowering citizens to combat the destructive influence of corruption, entrenched networks and abuse of power


Who can participate?

Everyone can contribute with a photograph: professional and non-professional photographers, students, civil society activists, government officials, UN staff members and so forth.


How can I participate?

The campaign will be open for participation from 1 June to 1 October 2009.


How will the selection take place?

The Selection Committee will choose the 50 favourite photographs that best depict the campaign themes to compose our photo gallery. Results will be released on IPC-IG website on 31 October 2009.

The Committee will be composed of one representative from IPC-IG; one UNV representative from headquarters in Bonn; a professional photographer with international reputation; a representative from a partner institution based in Africa, one in Asia and the Pacific, one in the Arab States and another in Europe and the CIS


What happens if my picture is selected?

If your photo is chosen you will be contacted no later than 30 October 2009 by the IPC-IG. As a reward, your contribution to this campaign and your effort in supporting its goals will be acknowledged by a wide dissemination of your work through a range of UN communications tools:

  • The selected photographs and the respective contributors' names will be highlighted in various UN communications channels, such as IPC-IG and UN media campaigns, releases, websites and so forth.
  • The selected photograph will be part of UNDP and IPC-IG photo databases and will be shared with the United Nations Department of Public Information in New York, promoting global visibility to contributors, their work and participation in the global campaign.
  • Contributors will receive a certificate jointly issued by the UNDP International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth and the campaign partners.
  • Contributors will have their names displayed at the IPC-IG photo gallery on "Humanizing Development", which will be launched at a public event on November 2009.
  • Photo exhibitions are to be organised in order to highlight the photographs and the contributors and to promote the campaign goals. Exhibitions are planned to be held in New York, Brasilia, São Paulo, and other cities in the South.

Campaign Coordinator

    Mr. Francisco Filho
    Communications, Outreach and
    Advocacy Unit, IPC-IG
    (+ 55 61) 2105 5036


    Ms. Giovana Lerda
    Communications Assistant
    (+55 61) 2105 5017

Online Volunteers mobilized through the UNV Online Volunteering

Outreach Team

  • Adriana Gutierrez
  • Franziska Kabelitz
  • Yohanes Winanto Saputro
  • Lassi Valkonen
  • Lissa Cowan
  • Wiselin Herald
  • Ivana Kalafatic

Translators Team

  • Hélène Tagand
  • Julia Ferraz
  • Karla Castelar Castillo
  • Cláudia D'Abreu
  • Neil Bailey
  • Virginie Lochou
  • Jin Huang
  • Ibrahim Ali
  • María Cruz Martín Saiz

Website Coordinator

  • Rosie Ojo

Gallery Curator

  • Mr. Leno Veras
    Communications Assistant, IPC-IG
    Telephone: (+55 61) 2105 5011


Download the campaign logo and add it to your website or blog. You can also download the posters in all UN languages and Portuguese!


Participate in the blog on Humanizing Development