IMF 2020 Annual Meetings Fellowship Program Contest

Ideas for a Better Future

Congratulations to our IMF Youth Fellowship Contest Winners

The IMF is pleased to announce the winners of our Youth Fellowship Contest: Krithiga Narayanan, Mary-Jean Nleya, Cynthia Nyongesa, and Alex Segura. 

During the 2020 Annual Meetings, 26 bloggers/vloggers, journalists, communications experts, young professionals, and students participated in an IMF fellowship training program on media and video storytelling with discussions on current global economic issues, including inclusive growth, inequality, fintech, and climate change.

Following the training program, fellows were asked to submit a short video or article that answered the following question: "What policy priorities must be considered to address the current crisis and thus build a path towards a greener and more equal recovery that creates more jobs and opportunities for youth?" The four winners were selected based on the following criteria: compelling storytelling, presentation of data-driven arguments, and a high degree of innovation and creativity. 

After their winning work was published on, winners also participated in a panel discussion with the IMF's First Deputy Managing Director, Geoffrey Okamoto, where they discussed the green recovery and opportunities for youth.

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Meet the Winners

Krithiga NarayananKrithiga Narayanan, Multi-Platform Journalist 

Topic: Gender Inclusive Policies for a Faster Recovery

Krithiga discusses policy recommendations to create more (remote) jobs, provide necessary technical support, and skills development for young women in both urban and rural areas in India.

Mary-Jean NleyaMary-Jean Nleya, Conversationalist on Global Issues

Topic: A Digitally Transformed Economic Recovery that Works for African Youth

Mary-Jean writes about how a pro-digital policy agenda, including public and private sector investments in digital infrastructure and technologies, can accelerate the economic recovery.

Cynthia NyongesaCynthia Nyongesa, Youth Advocate

Topic: Policies to Create Jobs and Opportunities for African Youth

Cynthia calls upon policy makers to promote employment, sustainable economic growth and reduced poverty for youth, while also creating jobs which are safe and inclusive.

Alex SeguraAlex Segura, Foreign Correspondent

Topic: Can Fintech Companies Help Close the Gender Gap in Financial Inclusion?

Alex argues that governments should aim to create public policies which increase women’s access to microcredit, digital ID and education, while also working alongside fintech companies.

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What is the IMF Youth Fellowship Contest?

The 2020 IMF Youth Fellowship Contest provided an opportunity for young participants to become part of the global effort to build forward better and join the IMF at the forefront of the response to the crisis. Participants had a firsthand experience of the IMF virtual Annual Meetings and participated in virtual training led by IMF experts and media professionals from Politico and others to boost their skills as multimedia storytellers in the current economic environment, focusing on building a better future for youth.

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Application Criteria

Please note that the 2020 Youth Fellowship Contest has concluded; we will share any future contest information on our Youth page

  • Must be a journalist (affiliated with a news/media outlet or working as an independent journalist), content creator (bloggers/vloggers with an online platform), communications professional, development professional, or student age 20-32.
  • Demonstrated knowledge, expertise and creativity in various communications platforms and/or journalism.
  • Knowledge and expertise in international studies, basic economics and development is a plus.
  • Degree in communications, journalism, economics, international relations, development or related field is desirable.
  • Basic knowledge of English (for the training program and Annual Meetings coverage).

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Please note that the 2020 Youth Fellowship Contest has concluded; we will share any future contest information on our Youth page

Phase I: Contest will open to all via application form on the contest website

  • September 1 – Announcement
  • September 24 – Deadline for applications

Phase II: Selected participants will join an intensive capacity building program during the Annual Meetings

  • October 5 – Shortlisted participants announcement
  • October 12 - 17 – Training on media and video storytelling; Workshop on current global economic issues including inclusive growth, inequality, Fintech and climate change; Coverage of the Annual Meetings seminars and events.
  • November 8 – Final products submission

Phase III: The 4 winners will participate in a panel with IMF senior management and will have their entries highlighted on

  • November 30 – Winners announcement

Phase IV: Panel discussion featuring winners of the fellowship contest and featuring their articles/ videos on IMF channels.

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  • Media and video storytelling training by media experts from Politico.
  • A virtual capacity building program: sessions on media and video storytelling by the Financial Times and Politico; discussions on current global economic issues including inclusive growth, inequality, fintech and climate change.
  • Access to the Annual Meetings seminars and events.
  • Participation in a panel discussion with IMF senior management. 
  • The winning articles and videos will be featured on

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Is there an age limit for the contest?
The fellowship contest is open to young academics, journalists, professionals and students, aged 20 - 32.

Can I apply even if I do not live in the USA?
Yes, this is open to young people from anywhere the world. Priority will be given to entrants from Latin America, Middle East, and sub-Saharan Africa.

Is it necessary to attach a certificate of academic attendance?
No, it is not necessary to submit a certificate of academic attendance. However, you must specify the university and academic program in which you are enrolled (if applicable).

How can I know my entry was submitted successfully? Is there a response time or acknowledgment of receipt?
The IMF will send an e-mail acknowledging receipt to anyone who submits an application.

Is there a participation fee to apply for the contest?
There is no participation fee required to participate in the contest.

How will the evaluation committee make its decision?
The committee will review applications based on the criteria listed above. 

What will the IMF do with my article or video?
By entering the contest, you agree that the IMF retains unlimited, non-exclusive right to reproduce your work. The winning articles, videos and any other blog submitted may, subject to the discretion of the IMF, be edited and published on The IMF may publish the name of competition entrants on its website.