NRC Zimbabwe’s winning project secured land rights for 10,000 internally displaced people across two provinces.

Three finalists, with two projects from India and one from Zimbabwe, competed for the annual cash prize.

Each, represented by three members of their project teams (including someone working in the field), presented their projects to a panel of expert judges led by broadcaster Michael Buerk, at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, UK, on Tuesday, February 18, 2014.

Lady Margaret Hall is the college where the charity’s founder, the late Joyce Pearce OBE, began her career of service to refugees and displaced people worldwide.

The judges sought evidence of increased self-reliance in the communities supported, the central ethos of the Prize, which recognises and rewards work that has improved the lives of refugees and displaced people across the globe.

Trophies, certificates and cheques – $75,000 to the winner and $15,000 for the other finalists – were that year presented by HRH The Princess Royal.

A capacity crowd of 130 saw the Prize presentations and heard the three contenders explain their projects.

The video presentation by NRC Zimbabwe, winner of the 2014 $US75,000 Ockenden International Prize: A record then of 97 entries from 47 countries were entered in the 2014 Ockenden International Prize. The three finalists were chosen from a preliminary judging panel in November 2013.

The judges, Chaired by Michael Buerk, broadcaster, are Dr. Dawn Chatty, Professor of Anthropology and Forced Migration/Director Refugee Studies Centre, Oxford; Dr. Kirsten McConnachie, Joyce Pearce Junior Research Fellow, Refugee Studies Centre, Oxford; Mr. Mohammed Suleman, Managing Director, Barrow & Gale; and Major General (Retired) Timothy Cross, UK military expert on the care and safety of refugees in conflict zones.

The inaugural 2013 Prize was awarded last February to India’s Centre for Development (CfD) partnered by UK charity Childreach International for their Piplaj Advocacy Project to empower a deeply impoverished community in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, to campaign for better living conditions, education and healthcare.

CfD is using its prize money on a similar project for children made homeless by commercial developments forcing them into other slums in Ahmedabad.

The prestigious cash prize was awarded at a special ceremony in the Simpkins Lee Theatre, Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University on Tuesday, February 18, 2014. The full video coverage: