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Gütersloh, 20/08/2001

Carl Bertelsmann Prize 2001 for Successful Transformation and Development: Candidates Nominated

After an international research effort, the Bertelsmann Stiftung has nominated the candidates for this year's Carl Bertelsmann Prize. Experts looked at countries in the process of transitioning from an authoritarian form of government and a state-dominated economic order to democracy and a market economy. Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, South Korea, Taiwan and Uruguay are the candidates shortlisted as the most successful transformation states. Bolivia, Mali and Mauritius are the candidates for recognition of successful development. Endowed with a monetary award of 300,000 German marks, the Carl Bertelsmann Prize will be presented to one transformation state and one developing country on September 12, 2001, in Gütersloh, Germany.

The planning, management and implementation of a successful process of development or transformation towards democracy and market economy is one of the most demanding and impressive achievements for any state or society. Despite manifold practical experiences, knowledge about system transformation is still incomplete and fragmentary. Neither can transformation research nor politics offer adequate concepts for the target-oriented management of present and future processes of transformation.
With this in mind, the Carl Bertelsmann Prize 2001 wants to revive the debate on successful strategies of development and transformation. It awards management achievements which set a good example and are worth being imitated by other states and peoples. By setting these priorities, the award attempts to provide political impulses underlining the necessity to strategically manage system change. The Carl Bertelsmann Prize 2001 shall honor the still ongoing successful transformation of states. In addition, the positive experience of successful processes of development and transformation shall be evaluated and the material is to be made available to other actors who want to follow the same path.

Successful processes of development and transformation are results of a common effort of all actors involved. Without their partaking, their acceptance and their commitment to reform, fundamental changes are hardly conceivable. At the same time, management achievements are in most cases the accomplishment of a few people, of governments or important organizations, which push developments, make use of historic windows of opportunity and are able to generate acceptance for overcoming difficult situations.

In the course of extensive preliminary work and research different criteria were worked out that allow for a qualitative comparison of processes of development and transformation as a whole. Taking the different circumstances of outset and implementation as well as the different constraints into account, the research did not merely focus on socio-economic and political data, but also considered the length of the “way” covered and examined the individual managerial achievements. Extensive studies covered 39 advanced states in transformation and 17 states witnessing exceptional successes in their development. "The prize is supposed to be awarded to those countries which were particularly successful in shaping their transformation process and which can serve as models for other countries," says Professor Dr Werner Weidenfeld, Member of the Executive Board of the Bertelsmann Foundation.

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