2012 World Bank International Essay Competition – Not happening?

This is bad news for writing enthusiasts around the world. In a message posted via Facebook last Janaury 17, Ms Catherine Doody, Communications Associate for World Bank (WB), announced that the annual World Bank International Essay Competition “has been put on hold for the time being.” She made the post on the same date the annual competition was launched a year ago.

Last week, Ms Doody pointed out that “several discussions with different partners are ongoing” and that “there may be something in the fall of 2012.” This appears to be the best case scenario since she pointed out that there might be no competition at all until 2013. She added: “I will do my best to keep you informed, also about other essay competitions that I am made aware of.”

For those interested, she also informed everyone that they “will also have some youth focused activities around the World Bank’s Spring Meetings in April (live chat forums seeking youth input on different topics).”

Launched in 2004, this annual global competition aims “to provide an opportunity for youth around the world to share their ideas on critical development issues.” Participants must be between 18 to 25 years old. Youth migration was the theme last 2011. The competition got more than 2,000 entries, written in English, French and Spanish. The WB noted that 95% of the participants came from developing countries.

PS: I was a participant last year, and though I did not make it to the top 200, I still got this wonderful certificate from the organizers:

My certificate for joining the 2011 World Bank International Essay Competition for Young People

Please “like” our Facebook page!

About Author



Mark Pere Madrona

The Filipino Scribe (TFS) is managed by Mark Pere Madrona, a multi-awarded writer and licensed professional teacher from the Philippines. Mr. Madrona earned his master’s degree in history from the University of the Philippines-Diliman last 2020. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in journalism cum laude from the same university back in 2010. His area of interests includes Philippine journalism, history, and politics as well as social media. Know more about him here: https://www.filipinoscribe.com/about/.

22 thoughts on “2012 World Bank International Essay Competition – Not happening?

  1. Thanks for the information Since I also don’t find the information yet about this year competition. Even my age is not eligible to join the competition. But it is really disappointing. I hope for the next competition, youth above 25 age can be eligible to join.


  2. Hi Mark,
    I’ve been anticipating for this year’s contest (checking up on the WB website every now and then), only to be dampened by this unexpected news. I really wish beyond all reason that it will push through. Give the kids a chance! 🙂
    I participated for the first time last year, and met the same fate as yours 😉 … I will be 25 by the year-end, and technically that’s the last train boarding should the competition resume in 2013. Still, quite disheartened 😐
    Btw, nice blog! See you around 🙂
    ~from a kababayan, Chel

    1. Hi, Chel!
      Mabuhay! Thanks for visiting and commenting. I appreciate it. I was disappointed as well by this development. I am one of those I described here as writing competition enthusiasts. Hehe. 🙂
      I hope WB can still somehow organize a competition before the year ends. Thanks for the compliment. I hope you can visit my site again. I promise, you’ll never run out of something interesting to read. 🙂


  3. I really hope the competition holds this year. I want to give it another try. Congrats to last year’s winner and weldone to all those who participated. Lagos, Nigeria

  4. Hello there Mark,
    First things first; intersting blog you’ve got here mate!
    On turning 18, the WB essay competition was one of the most important things I looked forward to. Alas, fate seems to have other plans!
    However, an alternative to this can be the JVI (Joint Vienna Institute) 20th anniversary essay competition. JVI looks like they’re collaborating with the WB (I’m not absolutely certain what to make of it?) for their competition, and the themes sound remarkably similar.
    Because you seem like someone who’s gotten his head into this and clearly knows a lot more than I do, can you look this JVI link up, and let me know if there’s any credibility to this competition? What are the WB’s associations with it? Are the 2 remotely related? Etc.
    Here are a couple of links that I found useful:



    Thank you loads, appreciate it!

    – Maggie 🙂

    1. Hi, Maggie! Thanks for dropping by. I hope to have you visit again. 🙂

      I checked the two sites you gave here and yes, they are referring to the same competition. As you implied, WB is helping out JVI in promoting the contest. The sad thing is, the deadline for this essay contest has long passed. In fact, the organizers are already scheduled to announce the winners as soon as next week! Too bad.

      Anyway, please visit http://www.asiawrites.org for more writing competitions for us Asians. I’ll be sending you an email in the address you provided.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.