Austrian Prize for Development Research 2023 goes to Karin Fischer and Walter Sauer

29. February 2024 Development Research
Verleihung Entwicklungsforschungspreis 2023
On 27 February 2024 the Austrian Prize for Development Research 2023 was awarded by the head of section Barbara Weitgruber and the OeAD’s managing director Jacob Calice.

The main prize was split and awarded to Karin Fischer and Walter Sauer at a festive event in the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF)’s Audience Hall. The young talent award went to Clemens Bohl.

The Austrian Prize for Development Research, which has been awarded every two years since 2013, is awarded by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research in cooperation with the OeAD-GmbH – Austria's Agency for Education and Internationalisation – to both established and junior researchers for excellent scientific achievements in development research.

"Especially in geopolitically uncertain times development research is of outstanding importance for social cohesion in countries of the global South. Under the thematic umbrella of the Sustainable Development Goals it addresses e.g. ecological, medical, social, cultural, legal and economic problems and develops solutions that are important for a sustainable future. For many years now the Austrian Prize for Development Research has honoured scientists who have dedicated a significant part of their scientific work to this important transdisciplinary field of research," says the OeAD’s managing director Jakob Calice.

The main prize was awarded to two outstanding persons who are an integral part of development research in Austria. Walter Sauer is recognised nationally and internationally for his work on and analysis of Austrian colonial history, especially museum collections, and as an expert for questions of restitution and repatriation. He is also vividly remembered for his great commitment to the abolition of apartheid policies in the Republic of South Africa.

Karin Fischer, on the other hand, made a decisive contribution to establishing a degree programme in International Development at the University of Vienna and an internationally renowned research focus on global supply chains at the Johannes Kepler University Linz.

The laudatory speech for the main prize winners was given by Univ.-Prof. Dr. Stefanie Lemke, head of the Institute for Development Research at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna and chairwoman of the selection jury for the 2023 Development Research Prize. The members of the 2023 jury were also Dr. Josef Schmidt, Dr. Maria Dabringer, Dr. Melanie Pichler and Mag. Martina Neuwirth.

Clemens Bohl received the junior researcher’s prize for his master’s thesis on "Climate (in)justice as a global challenge: A framing analysis of the climate justice movement in Uganda". In it, Clemens Bohl presents a socio-politically highly relevant topic from the perspective of an African country, thereby sharpening the view on post-colonial North-South relationships. As Univ-Doz. Andreas Obrecht (OeAD) emphasized in his laudatory speech for the young talent award, Bohl achieved "a differentiated comparison of the frames of the activists and the majority population in Uganda with regard to climate (in)justice."