Congratulations to our 2023 award winners, Ohnmar Myo Aung & Rod Barnett

Every year, IODA recognizes those members who have made an outstanding contribution to the mission of IODA and to the OD profession in general. The Saul A. Silverman Award and the Richard Beckhard Award enable IODA to seek out and award these individuals. We held the ceremonies for both awards during our recent IODA Conference in Geelong, Australia.

It is our immense pleasure to announce that Ohnmar Myo Aung secured the Saul A. Silverman Award which recognizes people who have applied innovative tools and theory towards healing and the resolution of conflict, and Rod Barnett was awarded the Richard Beckhard Award for outstanding contribution to the advancement of IODA’s mission.


The 2023 award was given to Ohnmar Myo Aung from Myanmar, whose work has supported land reform within the high conflict context of Myanmar. The purpose of the award is to recognize and encourage people who have applied innovative tools and theory towards healing and the resolution of conflict, and in that context, we can ascertain that Ohnmar Myo Aung has had a great impact in balancing multiple stakeholder interests within high levels of uncertainty and disruption for farmers, communities, officials and the internal team of her organization.

Ohnmar has been working in the land reform field for many years and came from an agriculturalist background, but recognized the need to build her capabilities in OD once she had the responsibilities of managing the team and implementing agents and support them through rapid change processes. She has recently completed her Masters in OD at Assumption University, Thailand. 

Ohnmar demonstrated courage finding a way to do the right thing for the internal team, while also finding a smooth exit process with implementing agencies and beneficiaries on the ground, in a very difficult, complex and uncertain situation, which also had very high personal and organizational risk. She conducted research exploring resiliency of operations of the non-profit organization she was working with, until she had to leave Myanmar because of risks to her safety.  

We sincerely hope the award can make a small contribution to support Ohnmar’s intention to complete her research on how similar non-profit organizations can survive and continue to have a positive impact in Myanmar and potentially other challenging conflict-prone contexts.   

In addition to recognizing Ohnmar’s work, the Saul A. Silverman Award would like to honor and acknowledge the brave, tireless and sometimes invisible work done by so many practitioners in Myanmar who are seeking to bring peace and healing to communities.


The winner of the 2023 Award for their contribution to the mission of IODA is Rod Barnett from Australia. Rod has had a very significant impact on IODA and his involvement goes back a long way. In fact, he has put his whole heart into the organization. Not only has he been a regular attendee at IODA conferences, but he has always taken on multiple responsibilities within the organization and has held various roles and positions ever since. He served on three conference teams, which is a record shared by very few.

Rod attended his first IODA conference in 2009 in Hyderabad, India, and around this time he became an IODA member. He was an enthusiastic participant of the first OD World Summit in 2010 in Budapest. No matter where in the world IODA holds its annual conference, Rod is present. Consequently, in 2012 Rod was elected as IODA’s Vice President and in this role he led the Election Committee and the Scholarship Committee for at least 6 years.

As General Vice President, Rod supported IODA’s Presidents Ulla Nagel, Peter Kalmar, Suzanne Zaldivar and Michelle de Bruyn, and under the presidency of Peter Kalmar, Rod was a huge contributor and consistent co-worker of the IODA web-page team. Later on, Rod not only reviewed IODA’s social media posts but also kept the connection between the Australian’s national OD organization ODA and IODA. As a creative contributor to IODA’s WhatsApp Group our former Vice President continues to have a great impact on the organization’s cohesiveness.

Nearly any conference team relies on Rod’s participation. His contract negotiations have made sure that IODA’s mission and values were well understood by the local host teams und perceived throughout each annual conference. Hence, every conference is carefully designed and somehow formed by Rod’s considered impact. His professional work and pleasant presence guarantee that different cultures will meet and match.

Many congratulations to both!