Intercultural Achievement Award

In 2017, the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs will once again reward successful and solution-oriented intercultural dialogue projects.

Applications were possible until 12 April 2017. We are currently in the process of selecting the winning projects. The laureates will be invited to an award ceremony in September 2017.

We were looking for initiatives in one or more of these five fields: media/journalism, art/culture, youth, women or global citizenship education.

Which prizes will be awarded?

The IAA 2017 will be awarded for the best project in each of these four categories:

  • Category Sustainability: „Best ongoing project with sustainable impact” (Prize money: EUR 10.000,-)
  • Category Recent Events: „Best project with reference to current issues” (Prize money: EUR 5.000,-)
  • Category Innovation: „Most innovative intercultural project” (Prize money: EUR 5.000,-)
  • Category Media: „Best media contribution for intercultural understanding” (Prize money: EUR 5.000,-)

Both large- and small-scale projects within the four categories implemented by organisations or individuals qualify as potential award winners. The projects need to be either in the process of being implemented or already concluded.

Who applied?

Applications were open to both non-profit organisations (including non-governmental organisations as well as associations, foundations, charitable educational institutions or religious organisations) and commercial organisations. Governmental, scientific, research or international organisations were excluded from consideration.

Specific criteria had to be met for each category. There will only be one winner per category.

Please find detailed information on the prizes and eligibility criteria in the "Call for Projects".

What is the IAA?

The IAA was designed as a key project of intercultural dialogue in 2014. The award honours successful, innovative projects in the field of the intercultural dialogue, both in Austria and on a global scale. The award is open to all those, who identify and make use of opportunities within intercultural communal life. It is also designed for those who have successfully explored new avenues within intercultural dialogue, who have mastered a specific challenge through intercultural actions, and who have promoted dialogue of cultures and religions through their media presence.

Please find more information on previous IAAs below.

Previous Intercultural Achievement Awards

IAA 2016

On the 7th September 2016 the Award Ceremony of the Intercultural Achievement Award took place in the Jazz and Music Club Porgy & Bess in the presence of Federal Minister Sebastian Kurz to honour five successful projects.

The „Intercultural Achievement Award” (IAA) is a key project of the intercultural dialogue. The award honours successful, innovative projects in the field of the intercultural dialogue, both in Austria and on a global scale. The award is open to all those who identify and make use of opportunities within intercultural communal life. It is also designed for those who have successfully explored new avenues within the intercultural dialogue, who have mastered a specific challenge through intercultural actions, and who have promoted the dialogue of cultures and religions through their media presence.  

On the 8th June 2016 the IAA judges, consisting of seven independent experts in the field of intercultural dialogue, held a meeting to select this year’s winners in the five main categories as well as the recognition awards. 

 IAA 2016 laureates:

Category “Sustainability” - € 10.000,-
Project: Art for Change – New Delhi

The project Art for Change aims at strengthening child rights by empowering children through education in drama and pantomime for theatre performances. The classes engage also immigrant and Dalit children between the ages of 10 to 18 years living in New Delhi. The performance space allows the young artists to experience new visions of themselves and to exchange dialogue with the audience and society on issues such as social justice and human values. The theatre pieces are contextualised to make the kids become aware of human and child rights and are given the time to integrate this new awareness into their own life experiences. Theatre becomes a playground to make universal values accessible to children. Indian and European theatre traditions are combined, allowing for experimentation with the “other,” both inside and outside metropolitan Delhi society, and emphasizing the intercultural and universal character of the project goals. The NGO PRATYEK has been actively promoting and advocating child rights since 2013 throughout India. The IAA Sustainability 2016 is awarded to PRATYEK for consequently strengthening the rights of children in society, and for successfully drawing on art as an agent for dialogue.

Category “Recent Events” - € 5.000,-
Project: Community Cooking
International Orthodox Christian Charities, Lebanon

In a spirit to link the necessary with the agreeable, the International Orthodox Christian Charities initiated a community cooking project for Syrian refugees in all their diversity in Lebanon. Women with different religious and social backgrounds, both from refugee and host communities in Lebanon come together to jointly prepare traditional Syrian and Lebanese dishes. As confidence grows through the shared activity, not only recipes and family cooking secrets are exchanged: the cooks prepare food, but also the ground for new livelihoods. They are making an effort to regain the age-old familiarity with diversity, which the region has known for millennia. Since July 2015, hot meals for 650 Lebanese and Syrian families are served; beneficiaries are selected on humanitarian grounds. Meals are distributed by Syrian and Lebanese helpers, both Muslim and Christian. Re-establishing harmony in everyday activities within a shaken community builds confidence for those who come in contact with the project. The IAA Recent Events 2016 is awarded to the International Orthodox Christian Charities for demonstrating humanitarian solidarity, for making women and women refugees the agents for intercultural resilience and for fostering interreligious dialogue starting with basic, but effective ingredients.

Category “Media” - € 5.000,-
Project: Education through Music, Dance and Drama to Promote Tolerance and Non-Discrimination
Youth & Women Empowerment Foundation - YAWE, Uganda

YAWE Foundation uses radio as a tool to promote inter- and intra-cultural dialogue. The plays and songs are transmitted via various local radio stations throughout Uganda. As listeners enjoy music and plays adapted for radio on air, an important message is formulated: one of avoiding discrimination and of fostering tolerance among neighbours of different cultural, religious or social background, putting special focus on those living with HIV and other diseases. Young people from different cultural, tribal and religious background interact with HIV positive and HIV negative young people. By exploring the facts, and by overcoming stereotypes about a health issue, the youngsters are confronted with the challenges of diversity, and learn how to integrate diversity into one’s life. In the process, general questions of society, values, traditions, hopes and expectations are raised. As answers are found, those involved in the programme become multipliers for intercultural dialogue. The IAA Media 2016 is awarded to YAWE Foundation for illustrating how intercultural dialogue can be amplified via radio by using creative communication like drama. The project seeks to bridge antagonism in communities that are tackling a serious health concern through an intercultural and artistic approach.

Category “Innovation” - € 5.000,-
Project: Educators for a Shared Society
Givat Haviva, Israel

Educators for a Shared Society promote intercultural dialogue by encouraging the development of a common regional identity which can serve as an alternative beyond ethnic and religious identities. Educators from Jewish and Muslim communities convey the concept of a shared society to their students by illustrating common values with practical examples such as a prudent use of environmental resources or diligent waste management. Givat Haviva reaches out to schools and students: by pairing classes of students across the ethnic and religious divide and engaging them in joint learning and dialogue, the students find common ground. This initiative permits students and educators to establish contact with others across cultural differences, to get involved in dialogue, to overcome prejudices and to develop a shared vision for the future as well as a shared identity. The project shows a successful practice in activating divided communities to work together towards achieving their common goals and perceiving common values, while engaging in a process of interaction, support and empowerment. The IAA Innovation 2016 is awarded to Givat Haviva for its innovative approach in shaping a common regional identity in a debated political context with cross-community initiatives through intercultural dialogue.

Category “Special Award for Integration” - € 5.000,-
Project: *peppa- Intercultural Centre for Girls 
Caritas of the Archdiocese of Vienna, Austria

 *peppa - the Intercultural Centre for Girls focuses on support and social participation of girls and young women with and without migration background through counseling, education and leisure activities. An essential part of the project is to empower young women and to promote their participation in social life. Only girls and young women can make use of the space solely dedicated to their interests and needs, be it a place to chill, to cook, to learn, to exercise or to network. *peppa acts as a halfway house between migrant families and mainstream society. It is a safe, familial space as well as a space for new encounters and a springboard into a successful professional future. *peppa also facilitates a nuanced view of migrants in the Austrian majority population. Any girl or young woman can enter the *peppa space and in doing so, becomes an agent of awareness and builds her own appreciative, respectful attitude towards migrants. The IAA Special Award for Integration 2016 goes to *peppa for its support and empowerment of girls and young women and successfully integrating them into society. By creating a possibility for encounter, young women with and without migration background engage in dialogue and build the foundation for a shared future.


Asociacion Socioeducativa Llere,
Project: Kelibe Sports Club

The Depths of Art, UKRAINE 
Project: DonKult

Shalom Alaikum, AUSTRIA 
Project: Shalom Alaikum – Jewish Aid for Refugees

In 2015 the Intercultural Achievement Award once again honoured successful, innovative projects in the field of intercultural dialogue, both in Austria and on a global scale.  Since intercultural dialogue covers a broad range of subject areas, a substantive focus on certain areas allowed for more comparability of the entries.   

The winning projects were selected by seven independent experts in the field of intercultural dialogue, namely the following:

Prof. Dr. Herwig Hösele – secretary general, Future Fund of the Republic of Austria
Mag. (FH) Bernd Brünner – deputy CEO, Austrian Development Agency
Mag. Roland Goiser – deputy CEO,
Austrian Integration Fund
Dr. Simon Kravagna – publisher and editor in chief, dasbiber magazine
Dr. Katerina Kratzmann – office manager, International Organisation for Migration,  regional office in Austria  
Mag. Meri Disoski – CEO, association “Wirtschaft für Integration”
Mag. Gerhard Moßhammer – CEO, Intercultural Centre  

IAA winners 2015

Category “Sustainability”
UGANDA – Muslim Centre for Justice and Law (MCJL)
Project: Enhancement of Inter-faith and Intra-faith Youth Dialogue to promote Gender Justice and Peaceful Co-existence

The Muslim Centre for Justice and Law (MCJL) engages students of different religious backgrounds in interfaith dialogue activities to cultivate a social environment of mutual respect and religious tolerance. MCJL encourages young adults between 16 and 25 to discuss spirituality, religion, culture and identity during debate and essay competitions, youth retreat seminars, talk shows and the annual climaxing event, the “Multi Faith Youth Day of Service”. Another aim is to raise awareness for gender justice as a cross-cutting issue. The Centre reaches out to young people through religious leaders and thereby tries to enhance interreligious dialogue not only between Muslims and Christians, but also within the Muslim faith community itself. In striving to enhance interreligious dialogue to prevent violent extremism while simultaneously combating gender inequality, and in stressing community service as a unifying experience, MCJL’s approach serves as best practice example. The IAA Sustainability 2015 was awarded to MCJL for its ability to sustainably consolidate interreligious dialogue within popular youth discourse in Uganda. With the prize money, MCJL will finance further dialogue activities as well as an interreligious youth seminar with approximately 60 participants.

Category “Recent Events”
POLAND – Foundation Humanity in Action
Project: Inter@ction Zone Congress

In reaction to a local study on the prevalence of hate speech on the internet, the Foundation Humanity in Action Poland organized the first country-level congress for young Polish activists to counteract hate speech of any sort and to promote intercultural dialogue online. Taking place at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in November 2014, the three-day event provided 200 participants with the opportunity to learn from experts and vulnerable and minority groups how to deconstruct simplistic narratives and stereotypes that circulate online. Congress attendees reflected upon the attitudes of society towards “the other” and analysed the roots of hate speech. They were equipped with the tools essential for dismantling stereotypes and felt empowered to launch their own campaigns – which they did only days after the end of the conference. The Inter@ction Zone Congress succeeded in creating a network of cyber-activists that noticeably strengthens civil society and improves intercultural understanding. The IAA Recent Events 2015 is awarded to the Foundation Humanity in Action Poland for pioneering an approach in empowering young people to take a stance in social activism and promote an online culture of dialogue and respect, following social research published in 2014 on a specific problem area.  The prize money will be used for long-term support of existing initiatives, particularly the project “Start-up! Actions and ideas labs against hate speech”  

Category “Innovation”
ISRAEL – Arab-Jewish Community Center
Project: Class Exchange Program

The Class Exchange Program promotes intercultural dialogue by organising joint educational activities for Arab and Jewish children. About 750 students aged 9 to 11 meet every other week to participate in activities that emphasise teamwork and problem-solving and are guided by both an Arab and a Jewish facilitator. The alternating use of Hebrew and Arabic and the element of shared tasks and common goals offer a viable solution to the problem of segregated education. Adopted by local schools and requiring mandatory attendance, the project has achieved involvement of a wide range of groups, even those who might be reluctant to participate in intercultural initiatives. Ties are created not only between Arab and Jewish students, but also between their parents and teachers. The IAA Innovation 2015 is awarded to the Arab-Jewish Community Centre for its innovative approach to blend civil society driven intercultural and inter-community dialogue into regular school hours, and therefore ensuring a tangible impact of everyday attitudes and behaviour, not only on participating school children, but also on parents and teachers. The prize money will be used to further finance community activities of the Class Exchange Program.

Category “Media”
SERBIA – Danas
Project: Sandzak Danas

Established in 2006 by a group of Belgrade journalists and editors, the regional supplement Sandzak Danas is the first and only printed medium in the multi-ethnic and multi-confessional region of Sandzak. The regional supplement of the independent Danas daily newspaper edited in Belgrade covers issues of the local economy, politics, culture and sports in all municipalities of the politically and religiously diverse region. It is widely considered as the region’s sole professional journal with no political affiliation. The editors describe their work as “a broad dialogue tribune”, providing the space to express opposing local views and opinions and trying to establish a better way of intercultural understanding in Sandzak. In addition to the weekly publication, Danas organizes conferences and implements projects focussing on the needs and concerns of the region’s most vulnerable groups –youth, women, and ethnic minorities. The IAA Media 2015 is awarded to Danas for its socially responsible and non-partisan approach, in serving the public interest by promoting intercultural dialogue. The paper follows an approach of professional and unbiased journalism, and has managed to convince readers from all segments of Sandzak society. The prize money will be used to expand and strengthen its distribution and correspondent network.

Category “Special Award for Integration in Austria”
AUSTRIA – Association „the Connection”
Projekt: Café „the CONNECTION“

The Viennese coffee shop “the CONNECTION” strengthens integration by bringing together young migrant workers, international co-workers and a mostly Austrian clientele. “The CONNECTION” offers entry level jobs for young immigrants, in addition to German classes, a mentoring programme and intercultural interaction in the most typically Viennese setting possible: a coffee shop. This coffee shop’s aim is to offer its employees a solid platform from where they can move on to further studies or sustainable working environments, having a success rate of 90 percent. Mentors and guests are sensitised to issues of integration. While getting to know Austrian customs and work environments, young immigrants work in a multicultural setting and are engaged in intercultural dialogue with their colleagues and clients. “The CONNECTION” serves as a tool for self-empowerment, which allows participants to establish their own networks and take charge of their professional future. The IAA Special Award for Integration 2015 goes to “the CONNECTION” for its use of intercultural dialogue to successfully facilitate integration processes and for helping to build a professional future for young migrants in Austria. The prize money will be used to finance a necessary full-time employee as well as an intercultural workshop for its sponsors and partner organisations.

Recognition Award
Given the large number of entries, it was in the interest of the Task Force to honour three further projects with the IAA of Recognition, in addition to the five main categories.   

Project: Decreasing the drop-out rate among Roma children: Every student can be a winner

This project launched by the Bulgarian NGO CIDT is aimed at preventing early school leaving among Roma children. With a comprehensive intercultural approach, curricula and education processes are individually tailored towards the three target groups: students, parents and teaching staff. One of the main elements of the project is the introduction of so-called „Roma culture classes”, which seek to preserve and renew the cultural identity of Roma communities and to promote mutual understanding and tolerance between children of different origins.

FINLAND – Moniheli ry.
Project: iCount

With their project „iCount“ the Finnish NGO Moniheli ry. seeks to promote active citizenship and political participation of migrants in Finland. iCount organises discussions, seminars and workshops that gather migrants, representatives of Finnish NGOs, public officials as well as local and national decision-makers. They share experiences and mutual expectations and develop ideas to better integrate migrants into political decision-making processes.

Austria – M-MEDIA
Project: fresh. Out of Africa.

The first „black Austrian lifestyle“ magazine „fresh“ was established by publisher and editor in chief, Simon Inou, to visualise and share new narratives when it comes to the (medially conveyed) image of young black Austrians. „fresh“ is published four times a year with a print run of 8.000 copies. In addition, it organises cultural and awareness-raising events where „black“ and „non-black“ groups come together and work towards overcoming (socially-constructed) barriers.



















The Intercultural Achievement Award (IAA) describes the most recent effort of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, which aims at identifying and awarding innovative and solution-oriented projects that operate under the umbrella of intercultural dialogue. The IAA was initiated by the Task Force "Dialogue of Cultures" in cooperation with the Austrian Representation Offices abroad in 2014.  It was awarded for the first time in September 2014 in Vienna to projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina, China and Kenya.

Education, Participation, and Business

What thematic areas did the call focus on?

The three thematic focus areas were education, participation, and business. Organizations had to either operate in one of the selected areas or in up to all three fields. A special focus was given to women and youth, cross-cutting themes that are considered important, were given special consideration.

Who is eligible to apply?

Eligible for the IAA were Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs) that are dedicated to the promotion of intercultural dialogue. Projects had to focus on dialogue efforts in the fields of education, participation and business.

The Winners of the IAA 2014

1st place: Preschool Sunčani Most in Mostar/Bosnia and Herzegovina
Organisation: Evenagelisches Diakoniewerk

Category: Education
Cross-cutting theme: Youth

The Sunčani most preschool is the only multi-ethnic, integrative preschool in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The project is dedicated to children with and without disabilities, who are supervised by peda­gogues of different ethnicities. Approxi­mately 40 children from different ethnic groups attend the preschool every year, including up to 7 children with disabili­ties. The process of understanding and reconciliation between ethnic groups is thus initiated at a very young age.  

2nd place: China Women’s Film Festival in Beijing
Organisation: Crossroads Centre/China

Category: Participation
Cross-cutting theme: Women

The China Women’s Film Festival aims at strengthening the role of women wi­thin Chinese society. Following its suc­cessful premiere in 2013, the festival will take place again this year as well as next year, despite various challenges that have to be managed. A series of events and film presentations produced by fe­male film directors raises awareness of the discrimination against women in China. The festival attracts film direc­tors and visitors from various parts of the world, thus eliciting a fruitful dialo­gue on issues concerning women.  

3rd place: Girls Education Equity Project in Nairobi/Kenya
Organisation: Coexist Initiative, Kenya

Categories: Education/Participation
Cross-cutting theme: Women  

The Kakuma refugee camp was establis­hed in 1992 and is home to approxima­tely 140,000 refugees from Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia and other East African states. The project aims at enabling wo­men to gain access to education and rai­sing awareness among men concerning the importance of education for young women. In addition, the project takes a stance against discrimination as well as physical and psychological abuse young women are confronted with in the camp on a daily basis.  

4th place: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
Organisation: Impreuna Agency for Community Development  

5th place: Project of the Foundation Orient-Occident, Morocco  

6th place: Project of the National Institution of Social Care and Vocational Training, Lebanon   

Special award for integration (Austria only): Project: “Netzwerk mehr Sprache” – a project promoting equal opportunities in education at the municipal level
Organisation: okay.zusammenleben/ Verein Aktion Mitarbeit

The goal of this innovative project is to create networks in support of equal access to language education for chil­dren with and without a migration background. Teachers, parents and re­presentatives of four communities in Vorarlberg cooperate, in order to foster the language development of children irrespective of their social and ethnic background. The project is not only de­dicated to creating equal opportunities for children, but also to strengthening their sense of community.