Building peace in the minds of men and women

Laureates of the UNESCO/Juan Bosch Prize for the Promotion of Social Science Research in Latin America and the Caribbean

Awarded every two years, the Prize is intended to reward the best social science thesis of young researchers. The thesis, on a Latin America and the Caribbean subject, has to have made a significant research contribution to the promotion of social science research geared to social development policies in the region.  



2017 - Estefanía Ciro Rodríguez (Colombia)

UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, has named Estefanía Ciro Rodríguez (Colombia) as the laureate of the UNESCO/Juan Bosch Prize for the Promotion of Social Science Research in Latin America and the Caribbean, on the recommendation of an international jury. The prize rewards her research on the role of coca leaf cultivation in the Amazonian rainforest communities of Colombia.

A researcher at the La Orilla del Río think tank, Ciro Rodríguez work has focused, notably, on global policies to fight drug trafficking, the State in conflict zones, and rural communities in the 21st century.

She wrote her doctoral thesis in sociology on The Life Course of Coca Leaf Growers in Caquetá and the Legitimacy of Coca Tree Cultivation, after conducting field research into the lives of the men and women who grow coca, the violence they face and the place of coca culture in their traditions.

Prior to obtaining her doctorate from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Ms Ciro Rodríguez studied at the University of Los Andes (Colombia), where she completed a Bachelor’s degree in economics and a Master in history.


2015 - Manuel Alejandro Olivera Andrade (Bolivia)

Manuel Alejandro Olivera Andrade (Bolivia) was designated as the winner of the 2015 Edition of the Prize by UNESCO’s Director-General, Irina Bokova, on the recommendation of an international jury. The Award Ceremony will take place at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on 26 October 2015, at the occasion of the 9th UNESCO Youth Forum.

Olivera Andrade was selected among a pool of candidates from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, France, Jamaica, and Mexico. He holds a Bachelor in biology, together with a Master’s degree in economic development from the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés in La Paz, Bolivia. Olivera Andrade’s multidisciplinary academic background also includes undergraduate courses in economics and PhD credits in the fields of natural resources, sustainable development, and governance.

His thesis “Factores de riesgo para el proyecto estatal de aprovechamiento del litio del salar de Uyuni: Gobernanza, mercado y extractivismo histórico” explores how governance, market forces, and extractive economy issues may constitute risk factors to the governmental project for lithium exploitation in Uyuni (South West of Bolivia), using qualitative methods.

Olivera Andrade has won the Prize in recognition of the relevance of his work, which focuses on a contemporary issue, namely how a country can benefit from the natural resources it owns, all the more so given the rising importance of resources such as Lithium as an alternative source of energy. In addition, his work efficiently demonstrates the linkage between research and public policy, which is fundamental to winning this Prize.


2013 - Karen Nathalia Cerón Steevens (Colombia)

UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, has designated Karen Nathalia Cerón Steevens, 25, from Colombia, as the laureate of the first UNESCO/Juan Bosch Prize for the Promotion of Social Science Research in Latin America and the Caribbean. She was selected by an international jury in recognition of her research into youth violence in Central America and its application to social policies and prevention plans in Guatemala. The title of Ms Cerón Steevens research paper is: ¿Hijos de la Guerra o Huérfanos del Estado? Un estudio de la violencia juvenil representada en las maras, bajo las características particulares del Estado y del contexto guatemalteco (Sons of war or orphans of the state? A study of youth violence represented in “Maras” gangs, within the characteristics of the state and the Guatemalan context). This work is a continuation of the master's thesis defended by Ms Steevens at the “Colegio Mayor de Nuestra Seriora del Rosario”, a University in Bogotá (Colombia).


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