CGAP 12th Annual Photo Contest Winners

13 December 2017

CGAP 12th Annual Photo Contest Winners Capture Dignity, Hope and Resilience

Washington, DC, December 13, 2017:  Every year the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) invites photographers from around the world to illustrate with original and compelling images the impact that financial inclusion can have on the over 2 billion unbanked people.

This year’s Grand Prize Winner is Muhammad Mostafigur Rahman from Bangladesh.  His mesmerizing photo shows traditional honey collectors, known as “mouaals”, who risk their lives to harvest thousands of pounds of honey from the Sundarbans mangrove forests in the coastal region of western Bangladesh.  

The honey collectors are extremely poor and isolated with few means to make a living.  They have little to no access to the basic financial services, which they could use to help them build up their businesses.  Increasingly, governments and development practitioners are recognizing that including those at the base of the economic pyramid in the financial system creates opportunities for people like the mouals to save, invest and secure their livelihoods.  Financial inclusion thus can be a critical enabler for achieving many of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals that guide the global development agenda.

A panel of three judges selected "Honey Collectors,” out of 3,000 entries submitted from 76 countries.  Indira Williams Babic, contest judge and director of photography at the Newseum in Washington, DC, said of the winning photo: "The image pulls you in. It's immersive for the person in the image and the person viewing the image. It does a great job of making you part of that experience."

View the Winning Photos >>

For this year’s contest, CGAP invited submissions in four key areas that are instrumental to advancing financial inclusion: Innovations in Digital Finance, Creating Opportunities for People in Crisis, Building Sustainable Livelihoods, and Connecting People and Services.

Photos in the winning collection include fishermen using digital technology, such as a fish-finder app, a mother accessing energy through solar power, and acid attack survivors turning to entrepreneurship for hope and a future.

Photo contest judge Sarah Richardson, director and global curator of Citi, said: "Translating the ongoing work of inclusive finance into visual form is an interesting challenge. These photographers created compelling narratives that illustrate the profound impact of inclusive finance. Each photo tells a different story, which made reviewing the group like a trip around the globe."

2017 Contest Winners

Grand Prize Winner and Finalists

  • Honey Collectors – Muhammad Mostafigur Rahman, Bangladesh

Thematic Winners

  • Innovations in Digital Finance:
    Ray of Hope - Sujan Sarkar, India
  • Creating Opportunities for People in Crisis:
    Give Us Sunshine - Sourav Karmakar, India
  • Building Sustainable Livelihoods:
    Bicycle Distributions - Kevin Di Salvo, Uganda
  • Connecting People and Services:
    Fish Finder - Afriadi Hikmal, Indonesia

Regional Winners

  • Africa Region:
    Video Marketing with Tablets - Hailey Tucker, Kenya
  • East Asia and Pacific Region:
    Trading - Alexandrino Lei Airosa, Indonesia
  • Latin America and Caribbean Region:
    Hope in the Heights - David Martin Huamani Bedoya, Peru
  • Middle East and North Africa Region:
    Potato Harvester - Shahab Naseri, Iran
  • South Asia Region:
    Returning Home - Sujan Sarkar, India

Honorable Mentions

  • The Quinoa Farmer - Ana Caroline de Lima, Peru
  • Festive Workshop - Kaushik Majumder, India
  • Ceremony - Shahab Naseri, Iran
  • Fish Trap Maker - Mohd Nazri Sulaiman, Malaysia
  • Cocoon Exposing - Tran Tuy, Vietnam   
  • River View - Phyu Aye Pwint, Myanmar
  • The Creator - Sourav Karmakar, India
  • Family Lunch - Kyaw Zayya, Myanmar

People’s Choice

  • Knitting a Better Future – Daniela Ancira, Mexico

Photo Contest Judges

  • Indira Williams Babic, Director of Photography, Newseum
  • Sarah Richardson, Director and Global Curator, Corporate Arts and Archive, Citi
  • Karly Domb Sadof, Photo Editor, Nationals, Washington Post

Media Contact: Esther Lee Rosen, CGAP | [email protected]

CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor) is a global partnership of over 30 leading organizations that seek to advance financial inclusion. CGAP develops innovative solutions through practical research and active engagement with financial service providers, policy makers, and funders to enable approaches at scale. Housed at the World Bank, CGAP combines a pragmatic approach to responsible market development with an evidence-based advocacy platform to increase access to the financial services the poor need to improve their lives. More at