RO Vienna Takes Spotlight in First IOM Innovation Awards

IOM Director General, Antonio Vitorino presenting the IOM Innovation Awards 2022 in Geneva. 

The inaugural IOM Innovation Awards were presented in Geneva last week, and the SEEECA region took half the prizes on offer. 

Aimed at commending IOM regions for their efforts in creative solutions to migration-related operational challenges, the Innovation Awards were presented by Director General António Vitorino at the IOM’s Global Chiefs of Mission Meeting.

Innovation is hard-wired into migration programming in this region, which covers such a vast area and has multi-faceted challenges.  Prioritizing migrant protection and assistance, innovative strategies allow for effective humanitarian aid, and it was no surprise that IOM SEEECA scooped three of the six awards. 

IOM Turkey’s prize was earned thanks to its commodity tracking system (CTS), which functions as a remote verification process, It tracks the movement of humanitarian aid from Turkey to Syria using QR codes, resulting in efficient delivery of goods. (See video).

In the environment category, IOM Ukraine took first place. Its “Consciously made in Ukraine” initiative focuses on sustainable production and consumption, encouraging small businesses to incorporate the six principles of corporate sustainability standards. Before Russia invaded the country, this project was It has already having a positive impact on Ukrainian business behaviour, and it his hoped it will soon restart and build on the good foundations.

With a more artistic approach, Bosnia Herzegovina gained first place in the gender and inclusion division by putting together a fashion show that focused on creative partnerships between migrants, designers from Bosnia and Herzegovina, private companies and the local communities. Entitled “No Nation Fashion" brand, it is a refreshing initiative that visually projects the collaboration between migrants and designers.

SEEECA Regional Director Renate Held attended the ceremony and congratulated the efforts of all involved, stating “these innovation awards are, in themselves, an exciting innovation for IOM and I congratulate everyone involved in the winning projects. It is gratifying to see such talent across the organization, and particularly in this region.”