For its excellent work with native potatoes and awareness raising campaigns, the International Potato Center (CIP) was awarded the annually by PODER magazine prize and the On Think Tanks initiative, in the Category of Applied Science, Technology and Research for 2015.
This prize awarded to Think Tanks in Peru is inspired by a similar initiative by Prospect magazine in Great Britain. Its goal is to give recognition to excellent research and communication work done by applied research centers from academia, the state, civil society, or the private sector to find solutions to development problems based on innovative research.
The expectation is that from this research policies, methods or orientations will arise that can be taken up by different sectors of civil society and the government, and this is, in fact, is what happened with the CIP-driven native potato research and methodologies.
In the panel’s opinion, CIP “most effectively combines hard, deep research with the forming and promotion of networks and the execution of novel communication strategies and advocacy, designed to reach the general public.”
As an example, advertising campaigns to promote native potatoes, the panel of judges cited the “Ponle Papa a tu Plato” [“Put Potatoes on your Plate”] and “Papa es Chamba, Papa es Salud, Para el Progreso [“Potatoes are a Job, Potatoes are Health, for Progress.”] campaigns.
“This is a very important award that seeks to highlight and give credit to the most original, influential and rigorous work on the most pressing challenges facing the country and the most efficient way of combating them,” commented Miguel Ordinola, Coordinator of the IssAndes Project, in reference to this latest award.
“In this regard, the research we do at CIP in general, and with native potatoes in particular, meets these requisites exactly, something that the panel of judges understood very well,” he added.
Ordinola explained that the document submitted to the panel included CIP’s global work strategy and the experience of the three projects that, from different perspectives, addressed the native potato issue: Papa Andina, Incopa, and IssAndes. “This award is a magnificent opportunity to make our approaches even more visible,” he emphasized.
“This strengthens our commitment even more to continue deepening our research and, at the same time, to create and enhance new opportunities for dialogue and discussion, developing and training not only farmers –who are the direct beneficiaries– but also the future decision makers who can play a leading role in pubic efforts!” he continued.
Other noteworthy Peruvian institutions that won the award in addition to CIP were Ipsos Apoyo, Centro de Investigación de la Universidad del Pacífico [Research Center of Universidad del Pacífico], Sociedad Peruana de Derecho Ambiental [Peruvian Environmental Law Society], and Soluciones Prácticas. The awards ceremony took place on October 29 in the El Virrey bookstore in Miraflores, in the presence of the Ministers of Education, Housing, and the Environment, as well as distinguished individuals from the academic and research world.