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Reducing Urban Poverty 2013 Essay Competition

Reducing Urban Poverty 2013 Essay Competition

To encourage a new generation of urban policy makers and promote early career research, USAID, International Housing Coalition (IHC), World Bank, Woodrow Wilson Center’s Comparative Urban Studies Project (CUSP), and the Cities Alliance are co-sponsoring a fourth annual paper competition.

The competition seeks abstracts for a paper competition on urban poverty in the developing world. Winning papers will be published and selected authors will present their work in a policy workshop to be held at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. in November 2013. The grand prize winner will also receive $1000.

Papers should be policy-based and solutions-oriented and should critically examine existing projects and/or propose new strategies for tackling issues related to urban poverty. Submissions from a variety of perspectives are appropriate, including (but not limited to) urban planning, economics, political science, geography, public policy, law, sociology, environment, anthropology, housing policy, information science, and data analytics.


Papers must be linked to one of the following sub-topics:Reducing Urban Poverty Essay Competition

  • Gender and Urban Development
  • Big Data for Smarter Urban Development
  • Incremental Housing


USAID, IHC, World Bank, CUSP and Cities Alliance


The grand prize winner will receive a prize of $1000. In addition, workshop invitees will be provided with up to $1000 to help cover transportation and accommodation costs.


Abstracts due: March 15, 2013


  • This call for papers is directed at PhD students and advanced Masters students. To be eligible, applicants should be currently enrolled in a degree or post-doctoral program.
  • Papers can be co-authored, as long as each author is a graduate student. In this case, prize money will be split among the authors.
  • Abstracts (max 500 words) and a brief CV should be submitted to the selection committee by March 15, 2013.
  • Submissions should be sent to
  • Abstracts should contain a title, paper description, author name and affiliation, and specify which of the topical areas the paper will most directly address.
  • A panel composed of members of the sponsor organisations will review submitted abstracts and request full papers from finalists.
  • Applicants will be notified in mid-April whether they will be asked to write a full paper, which will be due by July 1, 2013.
  • Completed papers should be a maximum of 20 pages in length including appendixes (double-spaced, Times New Roman 12pt font) and utilise the guidelines used by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning.
  • Roughly 10 of the full papers will be compiled in a book and published by the Woodrow Wilson Center.
  • Publication of each selected paper is subject to review and will be contingent upon completion of suggested revisions by the authors, should they be requested by the selection committee.
  • 3-5 of the authors selected for publication will be invited to Washington, DC, in November 2013 to take part in a unique “policy workshop” that will bring together academics, policy makers and students for an interactive discussion of international urban development topics. The session will focus on bridging gaps between policy and academia, theory and practice. At the workshop, students will be paired with a senior development expert who will serve as a discussant for their paper.


For more information, please contact Nancy Leahy (


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About Muhammed Abdullahi Tosin

Writer. Difference Maker. Entrepreneur. Author, Your Right To Write & Vertical Writing. Winner, 11 Writing Prizes.

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