What is the

The JK VISIONARIES award is the highest honor bestowed by the Inter-American Development Bank to recognize extraordinary organizations that are working in innovative and effective ways to improve lives in Latin America and the Caribbean.

JK VISIONARIES pays tribute to Juscelino Kubitschek, former president of Brazil and the founder of Brasilia. He was a leading visionary in the history of Latin America and the Caribbean who played a fundamental role in establishing the Bank.


The award

The winning organization will receive US$100,000 in recognition of its work and to encourage its initiative and ongoing efforts to change the lives of the region’s people for the better. A second prize of US$50,000 and third and fourth prizes of US$25,000 each will also be awarded.

The award does not represent an obligation for the recipient to continue to implement the game-changing project that was presented.

The winners will join the Circle of JK Visionaries, gaining access to the Bank’s full set of tools for collaboration and strengthening.

Visionaries JK 2018

Who can compete?

Nongovernmental organizations from the member countries of the Bank that have been working in transforming projects on social issues in Latin America and the Caribbean. They should have over five years on game-changing projects with proven results.


Applications are closed at this time

What are we looking for?

  • INNOVATION. We are seeking organizations that are actively working to solve people's problems with new tools, methods, or techniques, providing value added, and taking a creative approach.
  • RELEVANCE. The objective of the organization should be relevant to the development reality of Latin America and the Caribbean and should be aligned with the Bank's mission of improving lives.
  • SUSTAINABILITY. Both the organization and its projects should be sustainable over time and should attend the needs of the present with a view to changing and improving lives in the future.
  • REPLICABILITY. We are seeking initiatives that have the potential to be replicated in other countries in the region to improve lives throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.



In order to compete, organizations should include complete an application form and include a link to a video lasting no more than two minutes that answers the following questions:

a. What challenge is your organization solving?

b. Why should it be selected over other organizations?

  • If you meet the criteria to enter the competition, please register in You Noodle. To create a profile enter this link 
  • Download rules
  • In order to compete, organizations should complete the registration form and include a link to a video

Juscelino Kubitschek

Selection committees

The TECHNICAL SELECTION COMMITTEE is in charge of the selection of finalists (máximum 25) and is composed by: 


  • Jaiwattie Anganu – Financial Markets Senior Specialist
  • Andrea Bergamaschi – Education Senior Specialist
  • Gabriel Casaburi – Lead Private Sector Specialist
  • Nidia Hidalgo – Social Development Senior Specialist
  • Mariano Lafuente – Senior Public Management Specialist
  • Ramiro López Ghio - Fiscal & Municipal Development Senior Specialist
  • Flavia Milano – Operations Senior Specialist
  • Pablo Molina – Operations Principal Specialist
  • Andrés Restrepo – Citizen Security Lead Specialist
  • Luiz Ros – Special Advisor for Innovation
  • Neile Quintero – Operations Senior Advisor
  • Trinidad Zaldivar – Chief of Cultural, Solidarity and Creativity Affairs Division


  • Guimaraes, Cintia – Deputy Secretary, Secretariat

The EXECUTIVE SELECTION COMITTEE is in charge of selecting the winners and is composed by:


  • Luis Alberto Moreno - IDB President


  • Florencia Attademo - Country Representative for the Paraguay
  • Federico Basañes - Manager Department of Knowledge, Innovation and Communication
  • Marcelo Cabrol - Manager of Social Sector
  • Enrique V. Iglesias - Former IDB President
  • Alexandre Meira da Rosa - IDB VicePresident of Countries
  • Mabel Valdivia - Executive Director Fonkoze USA and JK Winner 4th Edition


  • Guimaraes, Cintia – Deputy Secretary, Secretariat

Previous editions

Ganadores anteriores

Fifth Edition

First Prize - $100,000

Fundación Paraguaya (Paraguay) Since its foundation in 1985, Fundación Paraguaya, a self-sustainable NGO, it has superheaded microfinance. Its objective is to eliminate the poverty that affects the families of more than 86,000 clients. It has more than 450 staff in 28 offices across Paraguay.

Second Prize - $50,000

TeenSmart International (Costa Rica) Its mission is to help adolescents and young adults develop the knowledge, skills and motivation to live healthy, effective and satisfying lives through self-care and self-empowerment

Third Prize - $25,000

Glasswing International (El Salvador) It is an institution that implements programs in the areas of education, health and community development and identifies innovative projects and forges intersectoral partnerships that emphasize community participation while mobilizing human, financial and in-kind resources. The main objectives of its action are to involve people from all sectors of society, promote social integration and reduce fatalism in Central America. It seeks not only to add value to donor investment, but also to serve as a catalyst through the structuring of volunteer programs that result in donors and beneficiaries working hand in hand.

Fourth Prize - $25,000

TECHO (Chile) It is an NGO that operates in 19 Latin American countries. More than 140 million people in the region live in substandard housing. It undertakes mass mobilization of young local volunteers together with communities of informal settlements in the region to eradicate the poverty affecting them.

Honorable mention

ProMujer (United States) This institution, which is located in several countries, has the mission of empowering women to reach their full potential through programs with a holistic approach and activities to empower women such as microcredit, workshops where they are trained in financial management, human rights, rights to combat violence against women, self-esteem, digital education, health issues through a network of different institutions that provide these services.

Fourth edition

I. Economics and Finance

Fonkoze (Haití). Fonkoze has fostered social inclusion in Haiti for the last 20 years. It includes Sèvis Finansye Fonkoze (SFF), the country’s largest microfinance institution and the Fonkoze Foundation, which provides complementary education, health and business development services to SFF clients and members of the community. SFF’s objective is two-fold: to lift Haitian families and communities out of poverty and move them towards financial independence. SFF is also committed to extending services to the most vulnerable communities in Haiti leveraging and integrating innovations – such as mobile phone technology- to reach additional clients; and build a fully Haitian organization by placing Haitian nationals on the Board and in key leadership positions. Fonkoze has 200.000 active depositors and 60.000 borrowers, most are located in rural areas and are served by its national banking network.
It has played a key role in providing capital to small businesses and has fostered savings and entrepreneurship among women. Fonkoze has developed “Boutik Santé,” a social franchise initiative that expands access to basic health products and services in rural areas while serving as a source of income for its clients, who then become franchisees.

II. Social, Cultural and Scientific

The Social, Cultural and Scientific award was shared by two recipients:

Instituto Promundo (Brazil). Instituto Promundo’s main objective is to promote gender equality and violence prevention by creating innovative programs focused on various age groups, including children, youth and adults, particularly women. It has been in existence for 18 years and currently operates in nine countries in the region including Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and Nicaragua.
In Brazil Promundo has helped 104,000 people, including 2,100 teachers and 4,000 students alone in the “Promovendo a Igualdade de Gênero nas Escolas Program” (PEGE). Internationally it counts 10,000 education and health professionals from 22 countries as participants.
Promundo creates, innovates and experiments with new methodologies that are validated by health and education professionals and community members to ensure the success of their interventions/models and replication internationally by other institutions. Its models have been recognized in the past by NFPA, UNICEF, the World Bank and PNUD.

Fondo Ecuatoriano Populorum Progressio (Ecuador). Fondo Ecuatoriano Populorum Progressio – Ecuador Fondo Ecuatoriano Populorum Progresio’s (FEPP’s) main objective is to foster the development of rural and marginalized urban populations (indigenous, afroecuatorians, montubios and mestizos). FEPP has existed for 45 years and coordinates its programs with 2.175 grassroots organizations and supports 144.000 families or approximately 724.000 people in 21 provinces and 92 cantons in Ecuador. It has pioneered and generated significant replicable impact on securing property rights and land stewardship and in supporting community microfinance.
As a result of its work, local financial structures have emerged across the country, they perform financial intermediation, provide services to members and contribute to local development. These 18 provincial financial networks have united into a national network (RENAFIPSE). FEPP has received several international awards for their work in agricultural microfinance from the UNDP (2003), the Italian social associations (2002 and 2004), and the Presidency of Ecuador (National Order of Merit).

Third edition

I. Economics and Finance

Caribbean Center of Excellence for Youth Entrepreneurship  (Barbados) CEYE is an innovative, one of a kind regional mechanism, which helps to entrench the philosophy of entrepreneurship into the psych of Caribbean youth and women, accelerating the culture of entrepreneurship, thus making it a natural school to work transition choice. The CEYE is a not-for-profit company founded to advance a redefined sustainable development agenda in the Caribbean. This is an initiative, borne out of an increasing demand by Caribbean countries wanting to provide decent work for their youth and women populations utilizing best practices and innovative, on-traditional strategies and tools.

II. Social, Cultural and Scientific

The Social, Cultural and Scientific award was shared by two recipients:

Associação de Ballete Artes para Cegos  (Brazil) The Association has existed since 1995 and is recognized worldwide for pioneering a method developed by ballerina and physiotherapist Fernanda Bianchini. Through "contact" the visually impaired learn to dance Ballet gracefully, like any other beautiful dancer. The Association offers ballet classes free of charge for the blind and disabled of all ages. With these courses, the students' posture, balance, spatial perception, and self-esteem improve, and barriers and prejudices are broken down.

Instituto Nicaragüensede Cultura Hispánica  (Nicaragua) The Instituto Nicaragüense de Cultura Hispánica [Nicaraguan Institute of Hispanic Culture] (INCH) is recognized as a prestigious institution in the country. In the 54 years since it was founded (1959-2013), with the support of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation and recently with a supplementary item from the General Budget of the Republic, it has become a bedrock of cultural promotion in Nicaragua.

Second edition

I. Economics and Finance

The Economics and Financeaward was shared by two recipients:

Centro de Implementación de Políticas Públicas para la Equidad y el Crecimiento-CIPPEC(Argentina) 
Founded in Buenos Aires in 2000, CIPPEC works for a just, democratic and efficient public sector to improve the lives of people. CIPPEC analyzes and promotes public policies to foster equity and growth in the region, helping strengthen and develop the institutional capacity of public agencies and community organizations through its interactions with policymakers.

Fundación Salvadoreña para el Desarrollo Económico y Social - FUSADES (El Salvador)
Created in 1983 in El Salvador by a group of independent entrepreneurs and professionals with a vision to improve the economic and social conditions of Salvadorans, FUSADES set out to become a highly credible think tank dedicated to economic and social progress through sustainable development under a democratic system and individual liberties. FUSADES carries out research to promote public policies aimed at economic, social and institutional development.

II. Social, Cultural and Scientific

The Social, Cultural and Scientific award was shared by two recipients:

Instituto Mexicano de Investigación de la Familia y PoblaciónIMIFAP(México)
Founded in Mexico in 1985 by a group of social psychologists in order to pursue the investigation of sexual health issues, IMIFAP set out to create and implement programs that contribute to sustainable human development by empowering individuals to take control of their health, their productivity and their lives. IMIFAP develops programs to promote the skills and abilities of people and sustainable human development, with emphasis on gender issues, so that individuals take responsibility over their own health, productivity and lives, through integrated development and community development programs.

Proyecto Salesiano Chicos de la Calle Guayaquil(Ecuador)
The Salesian order started working in Ecuador in 1888 to address the needs of poor young people through quality education and vocational training. Inspired by the values of the Gospel, they sought to form “honest citizens and good Christians.” The street children project works with at-risk children and youths in seven Ecuadoran cities, offering them services to improve their education, shelter, social services, counseling, vocational training and employment opportunities.

First edition

I. Economics and Finance

ACCION Internacional (Latin America and the Caribbean)This microfinance pioneer, founded in 1961, provides financial tools, such as microloans and business training, to enhance the living conditions of the poor, helping them to climb the economic ladder.

II. Social, Cultural and Scientific                                                                                                                 

The Social, Cultural and Scientific award was shared by two recipients:

FE Y ALEGRÍA (Latin America and the Caribbean)Established in 1955, this organization works primarily in comprehensive education for low-income populations and social welfare. It targets poor or excluded sectors, to strengthen personal development and social involvement. It has a network of more than 1,600 support centers, with 2,700 service units including schools, radio stations, and distance learning centers.

VAGA LUME (Brazil)Vaga Lume carries out cultural and educational projects in rural communities in the Amazon, primarily promoting reading, writing, and oral expression. Its vision is one of cultural exchange to forge ties and carry out learning that strengthens each individual and society.

Frequently asked questions

Preguntas frecuentes

Can my organization compete if it participated in the past?

Yes, if it participated in the past, but if it won a prize, it is not eligible to compete again.

Can an organization that is part of a government participate?

No, the competition is for nongovernmental organizations only.

If the organization receives funds from the national or local government, can it participate?

Yes, it can participate.

Does innovation have to be related to the use of new technology?

No, not necessarily. Innovation can refer to a new type of social organization or a new method of strengthening, or it can apply to any area of a project.

Can individuals compete?

No, the award is for organizations and institutions only.

Does the organization have to say what it will spend the money on?

Not in advance, but it will be required to submit a report to the Bank a posteriori on how the prize money was used.

My organization already won but the nomination would correspond to work in a different country. Can I nominate the same organization but for its work in other country?

No, the same organization cannot compete.

My organization won several years ago but we have developed innovative initiatives since that we would like to submit. Can we compete again? How many years must an organization wait to participate again?

Previous winners cannot compete.

Can independent projects be submitted without belonging to any institution?

No, they must belong to an institution/organization enrolled as legal  entities.

Does my institution have to be enrolled as a legal entity?

Yes, for more than 5 years.

Who gets rewarded at JK Visionaries?

The award is given to the institution/organization, not to a specific project.

How is the selection process?

The selection process has 4 phases: Phase 1: verification of compliance of requirements; Phase 2: selection of finalists by the Technical Selection Committee; Phase 3: eligibility check, due diligence and visits to the institutions; Phase 4: selection of winners by the Executive Selection Committee.