Call for submissions for the Photography Competition “Change-makers in action: Building disability inclusive, resilient communities”

October 11, 2023

UNDP–UNOCHA Photo Competition

To view the finalist images of the photography competition, please visit the photo story and digital exhibition.


The Photography Competition sponsored by UNDP and OCHA for Disability-Inclusive Resilience-Building is now open! The theme is “Change makers in action: Building disability inclusive, resilient communities”. 

The Photography Competition aims to celebrate resilient, disability-inclusive communities and to showcase the role of persons with disabilities as agents of change.  We want to celebrate communities, individuals and organizations that are contributing towards a resilient, inclusive and peaceful society that is protected from risk and crisis.

The competition is launched to celebrate the 2023 International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction (13 October) and the winners will be announced on the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (3 December)

The theme of the 2023 International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction is ‘Fighting inequality for a resilient future’ and invites citizens, communities and organizations to #BreakTheCycle of inequality. The theme for the 2023 International Day of Persons with Disabilities is “United in action to rescue and achieve the SDGs for, with and by persons with disabilities”, which also led UNDP and OCHA to join forces. Thus, this photography competition aimed to promote a resilient future for all.

Interested to apply? Have you been increasing your community's resilience by...
  • Running inclusive disaster risk reduction programmes or training?  
  • Creating early warning systems that are inclusive for persons with disabilities and all diversity?  
  • Supporting and encouraging the agency of persons with disabilities in humanitarian settings?  
  • Organizing or participating to inclusive ways to recover from crisises (conflict/disasters)?
  • Contributing to inclusive economic activities that support resilience of communities?  
  • Building inclusive housing?  
  • Participating in local farming practices accessible to persons with disabilities?
  • Creating services and infrastructure for safe water, sanitation and hygiene for everyone, including persons with disabilities?  
  • Using innovative technology to create disability inclusive spaces and services in urban areas?  
  • Increasing the resilience of women and girls with disabilities through entrepreneurship and education?  
  • Promoting inclusion of persons with disabilities in decision-making at local level?  
  • Or any other activities that help create inclusive and resilient communities?    


Are you or your organisation developing/ running a project with active participation and consultation with persons with disabilities, who are involved in the design, promotion, communication and implementation of the entire project? 

Are you supporting inclusive governance in your community by promoting collaboration among persons with disabilities, their representative organizations, local non-governmental organizations and local authorities?

Then congratulations! All these activities strengthen your community's resilience to climate shocks and disaster impact, creating disability-inclusive resilient communities! 

We would love to learn more about your initiative! Share a photo and a short description (100 words) explaining what the photograph represents, considering one or more of the theme aspects which create resilience. 

How to enter

Please enter using the form that can be found here.

Any question can be emailed to

All entries must be submitted by the 27th of November, 2023, 23.59 CET

Who can participate?

Participation is open to everyone, including individuals or organizations. Your submission must state your organization if applicable. 

Participants under the age of 18 years must have prior consent from their legal guardians and confirm this when completing the application form. 

There is no participation fee to enter the competition.

What to submit? (Eligibility criteria)

All participants will submit the following:

  1.  One original single RAW or high-resolution photograph (300dpi in png or jpeg format). It will be appreciated if participants can also submit the photograph meta data to help credentials.

  2.  A short description (ca. 100 words) in English of the scene/story, its relevance and its relation to the theme. 

  3.  Agree to the Copyright Authorization, declaration of image ownership, and to the competition Terms and Conditions contained in the Photography Competition form. In the case of applicants under 18, agree that permission from legal guardians has been granted. 

All three must be submitted. Participants should refrain from revealing any unnecessary personal information and any submissions which are offensive, obscene, or defamatory will be rejected. Applicants will receive an email to notify if their submission has been accepted or rejected. 

Any participants suspected of cheating will be disqualified from the competition. No logos, URLs, telephone numbers, or calls that solicit directly for monetary donations should be included in any material.

Criteria for selection

All entries will be reviewed to determine if they meet the criteria before entering the competition. The following criteria will be applied to judge the submitted photographs:

  •  Relevance to the theme
  •  Creativity
  •  Quality
  •  Representation of diversity

Selection of Winners

Finalists will be notified by email on the 23rd of November 2023. These finalists will have their images displayed in a digital photography exhibition at a public advocacy event to commemorate the 2023 International Day of Persons with Disabilities in Geneva, entitled “Shaping a Resilient Future for All: Advancing Disability Inclusion for Building Resilience” to celebrate the 2023 International Day for Persons with Disabilities.  


The finalists will have their images displayed at the International Day of Persons with Disabilities event in Geneva, published as a photography story on and promoted through UNDP and OCHA social media platforms. 


Participants must be the sole owner of the rights to their photograph. If the photo focuses on a particular subject, the photographer must obtain his/her/their consent to submit the image prior to entering the competition. By entering the competition, the owner of the image is declaring that they have been granted permission by all individuals in the photo to submit the photo to the UNDP & OCHA Photography Competition.  

By entering the photography competition, copyright holders retain copyright of their work. However, participants grant the UNDP & OCHA the right to use the photographs for public information and exhibition purposes at no cost and without prior permission from the copyright holder. The applicant is hereby authorizing the UNDP the right to use, royalty-free and without limitation, for a period of however many years, starting at the date of submission, in the whole world, the material submitted for the photo competition, including to edit, copy, print, reproduce, distribute, translate, and publicly display or publish any such intellectual property rights, for whatever purpose, in any form or medium, either on this website or elsewhere, for promotional activities or events arranged by the UNDP, whether locally or world-wide. UNDP will only use the photos for non-commercial purposes including exhibitions, education and advocacy materials, website, social media, brochures, reports etc. Photograph credits and copyrights will be duly indicated when using the photographs.

By entering the competition, participants agree to be bound by the competition rules, the copyright arrangement and the Terms and Conditions.

Supporting Documents