Congrats to 2017 Photo Drive winners!

CEGA’s annual photo drive brings our mission to life, and our network closer to the people and places that motivate our work. This year, submissions covered a range of topics relevant to CEGA — from agricultural technology adoption to digital credit and local labor markets.

Our winner, Danish Us-Salam, submitted a stunning photo from his time with BRAC in Sierra Leone. Danish is currently a BRAC-CEGA Visiting Fellow. Our three runners up are ACRE Africa (partner on a CEGA-funded digital credit pilot study), Kuranda Morgan (former CEGA staff member), and Justin Loiseau (who manages J-PAL’s new Crime & Violence Initiative). Congratulations to all of our winners!

We asked all four photographers to tell us a bit about their submissions — their responses and photos are below, along with photos from several of our other finalists. Enjoy!

1st Place: “Causal views on the side — Magnificent Africa at your service”

Photograph by Danish Us-Salam in Freetown, Sierra Leone, 2016

Danish: “I worked as a Research Associate for BRAC Sierra Leone in 2016. It was my first expat assignment and I was awestruck by the natural beauty this place withholds. During my time in Freetown, I worked on a project called ‘Microfinance: Single & Group Liability Project,’ and had the opportunity to visit a number of remote rural areas and villages. This picture, however, was taken on Spur Road in Freetown, which is a beautiful residential area, very peaceful, convenient and close to the magnificent Lumley Beach. The message I want to convey through this picture is how beautiful West Africa is in general on a normal day, unlike other parts of the world, where people have to wait for specific times of the year to enjoy the scenery. The weather in Sierra Leone remains pretty much the same throughout the year and views like the one above are more of a common sight than luxury.”

Runner-Up: “Women and Food Security”

Photo by ACRE Africa, Makuyu, Murang’a County, Kenya

ACRE Africa: “This photo was taken during a field visit by the ACRE Africa team to Makuyu, Murang’a County in Kenya. To cope with the effects of drought, these women farmers were planting drought resistant maize that is insured through one of ACRE Africa’s index insurance products, the Replanting Guarantee (RPG) Maize Index Insurance Product. When a farmer buys the seed, they find a card with simple instructions for registering for the insurance through their mobile phones. As soon as the farmer registers, ACRE Africa receives the farmer location and is able to monitor the rainfall in the farmer’s location. In the event of insufficient rainfall which may hinder germination of the maize seed, the farmer receives a cash payout worth the packet/s of seed through their mobile phones. Farmers are often hesitant to invest in the higher-yielding but more expensive hybrid seeds. Instead, they tend to purchase local seeds with lower yields. In our experience, timely compensation through insurance enables them to buy another packet of seed/s and plant within the planting window when rains are sufficient, promoting food security.”

Runner-Up: “Waiting for Fishermen”

Photograph by Kuranda Morgan in Zanzibar, Tanzania, July 2016

Kuranda: “This photo was taken the day after CEGA’s 2016 EASST Evidence Summit, which took place in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. After an incredible few days of EASST-led impact evaluation training and research dissemination to an audience of over 130 researchers, policymakers, and civil society representatives, I took the ferry from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar for a celebratory soak of toes in the crystal blue waters of Zanzibar’s northern coast. While walking along the beach, I noticed a group of women, half of them sitting on buckets, staring out into the ocean. Puzzled, I watched as they waited; for what I wasn’t yet certain. About 20 minutes later, women began to flip their buckets and tread into the water as several fishing boats full of fishermen approached. Buckets transformed from resting spots to transportation vessels as the exchange of the days’ catch began.”

Runner-Up: “No Paper, No Problem”

Photograph by Justin Loiseau, Tràm Chim National Park, Viet Nam, April 2009

Justin: “A field assistant’s creative thinking ensured he could still record his daily water quality measurements, notebook or not.”


Credit (L to R): Maya Ranganath, Maya Ranganath, Snigdha Shahi
Credit (L to R): Mathew Mayes, Matthew Mayes, Manaswini Rao
Credit (L to R): Matthew Mayes, Carson Christiano