What is the difference between national and regional award?

CAF is present in 19 countries, 17 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, Spain and Portugal.

The contest consists of two stages:

  • A first national stage in which a winner is chosen at the country level (or at the Caribbean level in the case of Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago).
  • A second regional stage in which three winners are chosen, one of which will receive the Guillermo Perry Award.


What are the dates I should keep in mind?

The competition will open on April 1, 2021, and will close on May 31, 2021, at 11:59 pm (EDT), which is the deadline for submission of essays.

The jury's decision will be announced on the contest website on July 5, 2021, for the national winners and on October 4, for the Ibero-American winners.


Who is part of the jury?

The national jury is made up of representatives from CAF and the Central Bank of the respective country.

The essay’s  evaluation at Latin American level will be carried out by two independent international experts and CAF’s Executive President.


What are the assessment criteria?

Essays will be evaluated according to the following parameters:


Conceptual framework        

Evidence and sustenance  











Should the essay answer all the exemplary questions as well as those mentioned in the guidelines?

The essay should focus on development challenges facing Latin America and the Caribbean. It can deal with the situation of a country, a group of countries or the region as a whole. The exemplary  questions have been designed for use by the participants, if they so wish, to approach the topic from a specific perspective. However, these questions are of an illustrative nature. The essay may address other topics that are not included in the questions but are relevant to the development of the region, from an economic, public policy or regional integration perspective.


What is the prize for winners of the countries and the Ibero-Americans?

A prize will be awarded for the best essay at the national level and the three best essays at the Ibero-American level (first, second and third place).

The national winners will receive a certificate of recognition to be presented at an awards ceremony organized jointly by CAF and the country’s Central Bank.

The Ibero-American winners will submit their essay in the framework of the CAF Conference that will be held in November 2021, and they will receive:

  • Guillermo Perry Award: $3,000 (Three Thousand United States Dollars).
  • Second place: $2,000 (Two Thousand United States Dollars).
  • Third Place: $1,000 (One Thousand United States Dollars).


Is there an age limit to participate?

Young entrants from 18–29 years of age born between December 31, 1991 and January 1, 2003 may participate.


Can I participate if I already finished my undergraduate studies and I am still not enrolled in a graduate degree program?

The essay contest “Ideas for the future” is aimed exclusively at young undergraduate and graduate university students of any discipline enrolled at a university of one of the 19 CAF countries (see Contest rules).

If you are not enrolled at a university when you submit the essay, you cannot participate in the competition. The contest rules assume that, in order to participate, students must submit a certification of studies (regular student certificate or equivalent).


Can I submit an essay that has already been published?

The essay must be strictly unpublished, including its publication on the internet (see Contest rules). In other words, the essay must be an original and unpublished product of the author, not having been previously submitted to the contest or to any other written (editorial) or digital (internet) medium.


Which universities in my country can participate in the competition?

The contest is open to all young students at all universities in any of the 19 CAF countries.


How many people can write the essay?

Participation in this contest is individual. The author must identify him/herself with his/her name and surname and may submit a maximum of one original and unpublished essay.


What type of citation should be used?

Any style of reference and bibliographic citation, recognized and used consistently in the academic field, will be accepted.


What style or structure should the essay have?

The essay must follow the following structure:

  • Executive summary (included in the 6,000 words)
  • Introductory part containing the identification of the problem and the statement of the objective and/or hypothesis of the work
  • Analysis
  • Conclusions
  • References (not included in 6,000 words)
  • No attachments
  • Footnotes (other than the strictly bibliographical references) will be counted in the 6,000 words


Can I take part this year if I did in previous versions of the contest?

Yes, as long as you do not participate with the same essay, nor have you been one of the three Ibero-American winners.


What kind of higher education institution must I be enrolled in to be able to participate in the contest?

To participate, you must be enrolled in any university accredited by the competent authorities in each of CAF's shareholder countries that offer undergraduate, graduate (including business schools) and postgraduate (doctoral) studies. Students from technical institutes are not eligible.


Do you have any more questions?

We invite you to consult the contest rules or write us at