Photo story competition: Call for entries

Sustainable Mekong Research Network (SUMERNET) and SUMERNET Young Professionals (SYP) invite young professionals of all genders under the age of 35 who are from the Mekong Region to participate in this photo story competition on the theme of “Water Security for All”.

Bouanong Lathouly By Bouanong Lathouly - Aug 2, 2023

Launch of the call: 02 August 2023

Deadline for submission: 31 August 2023, 23:59 (Bangkok/Indochina time)

Submissions of photos will ONLY BE ACCEPTED through the online submission platform:


Photographs can be a powerful means of conveying narratives and evoking emotions. Through this competition, SUMERNET is offering young professionals the opportunity to showcase their photography skills and understanding of environmental issues.

We invite applications for a photo with a brief explanatory caption on the theme of “Water Security for All”. The entry should consist of at least three photographs (a maximum of 10 photos can be submitted by one applicant) and a text caption of not more than 100 words for each photo.

Theme: "Water Security for All"

According to the vision of SUMERNET: Water security is defined as “having the rights or access to sufficient water of adequate quality or being made less vulnerable to unacceptable levels of water-related risks.” Water security has important implications for health and well-being, gender equality, as well as livelihoods, income generation, and productivity. Water security is multi-scale: spatially, it may be applied to individuals, households, communities, nations, and region; temporally, it may refer to just a particular time of year or season with high risks, or it may apply to entire years or decades, in particular, under impacts of climate change which are highly uncertain. (Please see for more details.)

The theme of “Water Security for All” aims to:

  • Raise awareness of individuals, groups, and communities of the relationship between water ecosystems and the various local and community efforts and practices in using and conserving water ecosystems.
  • Emphasize collaboration and networking in the Mekong Region through shared reflections and perspectives on the challenges of water insecurity.
  • Demonstrate the transboundary nature and use of water in the Mekong Region.


Applicants should be:

  1. A young professional of any gender, from any profession or background, and under the age of 35 at the time of applying.
  2. A citizen of one of the following countries: Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and China.
  3. Applicants can be an individual or a group.


  1. Please make sure you or members of your team are eligible to apply.
  2. Each photo submitted must contain a title.
  3. Your entry should consist of three or more photographs (maximum ten photos) and a text caption of not more than 100 words per photo.
  4. All original photos that have not yet been edited must be uploaded into the application for reference.
  5. Your photo must be high-resolution in JPEG, PNG, or TIFF images (minimum resolution of 2480 by 3508 pixels (21 cm x 29.7 cm). Please name each file with your name and a number (e.g., Somchai Dech_1).
  6. Only photos taken on a camera device are accepted (do not submit any AI-generated photos).
  7. The photos should be taken after 2020 (January 1st, 2020 – present).

Entries should address the theme of “Water Security for All” and aim at conveying one or more of the three points in the theme description above.

Evaluation criteria

The competition will evaluate entries based on the following criteria:

  • Relevance to the theme (30%)
  • Caption coherence (30%)
  • Aesthetic (20%)
  • Originality (20%)

Note: Entries not following the eligibility and requirements will not be considered.

Prize details

  • First Prize: US$ 400
  • Second Prize: US$ 300
  • Third Prize: US$ 200
  • Two Honorary Prizes: US$ 100 each

All winners will receive a certification of acknowledgment. Furthermore, award-winning photos will be published on the SUMERNET website and across our communication channels, giving participants valuable exposure and recognition for their creative work.


The deadline for submitting entries is 25 August 2023 (midnight ICT). To enter the competition, please follow these steps to submit through our online system:

  1. Use the platform: Start creating stunning visual web content for free | Shorthand to create your photostory and provide the link in the application. Once you have created the submission, copy and paste the URL into your competition submission.
  2. As an option, you can choose to create your submission via Word or PowerPoint and upload the file. The maximum file size is 10MB per file. Rename the file with your name and your country (e.g., Somchai Dech_Laos).

Once your entry is ready, please complete the application and submit your photo before the deadline.

*No email attachments will be considered.


We will announce five pre-selected finalists on 10 September 2023 on the SUMERNET website and the SUMERNET Young Professionals (SYP) Facebook:

The finalists will be invited to join the online award ceremony on 13 September 2023, where the five winning photo stories will be announced. In addition, the winners’ photos will be displayed during the Mekong Think Thank Forum on 12th September. The five winning photo stories will be featured on and related channels.

Sustainable Mekong Research Network

Building research for policy towards sustainable development in the Mekong Region

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