The IAWRT AWARDS have been an integral part of the IAWRT International Biennial Conferences since 1994. Mette Janson, Norway and Christina Ruhnbro, Sweden, planned and coordinated the first Awards up to 2003. From 2005 Gerd Inger Polden, Norway took over as coordinator.
In the first year, the competition was limited to TV documentaries, but after 1997, Awards were granted also for radio documentaries. In 2013 two new categories were added, webcast video documentary and webcast radio documentary. Honorable mentions were awarded in each category.
To secure a broad representation within the two respective juries, IAWRT members were chosen from all continents. It was also decided that a representative from the hosting country of the conference should act as the chair for the Juries.
The AWARDS have been a capacity building element as it is a unique opportunity to develop dialogue and critical viewing opportunities for the jury members involved and to share ongoing trends and advancements with the participants at the conferences. With this, the IAWRT AWARDS have become an important part of the professional input at the conferences. Each conference concludes with an AWARDS ceremony and banquet, which is one of the highlights of the conferences.
The AWARDS work is facilitated and sponsored by FOKUS, the Forum for Women and Development and the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation.