Deadline for Application: October 15, 2023
Citizens and organisations from the 56 Commonwealth countries can now submit entries for the Secretary-General’s Innovation for Sustainable Development Awards to win prestigious titles and cash prizes.
Launched by the Commonwealth Secretary-General in 2019, the awards recognise ground-breaking innovations from Commonwealth countries that contribute to one or more of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
An independent jury will judge the entries and select 15 winners – three from each Commonwealth region – across five categories. Each category is structured around the five pillars of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace, and Partnership.
The awards focus on celebrating innovations that improve the lives of people, protect the planet, support prosperity, promote peace and strengthen partnerships for sustainable development.
Each winner will receive a trophy, a certificate of recognition and a cash prize of £3,000 at an award ceremony, to be held during the inaugural Commonwealth Edition of Kenya Innovation Week 2023 in Nairobi on 27 November.
Announcing this year’s awards, the Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC, encouraged everyone to take advantage of this opportunity, adding:
“In these turbulent times, we find ourselves in greater need of the determination, talent, and imagination of Commonwealth citizens to confront the challenges affecting our people, communities, and planet.
“We hope these awards will shine a spotlight on innovations which often go unnoticed but are making a real, measurable difference in communities across the Commonwealth.
“By doing so, these solutions will also serve as a source of inspiration, encouraging others to replicate these ideas or pioneer new approaches in our collective effort to build a sustainable future that leaves none of us behind.”Popular Stories on Rising Africa now24-Year-Old Nigerian Lady Studying Medicine in Ukraine Emerges as Best Graduating Student, Many Celebrate HerExceptional Nigerian mom goes back to high school after giving birth to her last child, set to study Law in university
Reflecting on the awards’ significance, Christopher Nesbitt from Belize, a recipient of the 2019 Prosperity Award for his work on carbon farming, said:
“In the 30 years I’ve been working in this field, the Commonwealth has shown the greatest interest and given me the most encouragement.”
Professor Askwar Hilonga from Tanzania, who received the 2021 People Award for his innovative water purification system, said:
“Winning the Commonwealth Innovation Award has increased my innovation visibility, reputation, network, and potential to attract more customers, mentors, and sponsors for scale-up to many countries.”
Entries must be received by 23:59 GMT on 15 October 2023. Women and young people, who are transforming their communities through innovative solutions, are especially encouraged to apply.
This is the third biennial edition of the awards, with the previous ceremonies held in 2019 and 2021.
What are the key objectives of the Awards?
- Identify, highlight and support the innovations that show demonstrable potential for enhancing sustainability in Commonwealth countries in line with the Sustainable Development Goals;
- Help create an environment that will encourage and sustain investments in innovations led by governments, businesses, women, young people and social enterprises across the Commonwealth;
- Illustrate the depth and breadth of talent, commitment and creativity that exists across the Commonwealth by highlighting the innovative potential of the award winners;
- Inspire, encourage and challenge others to develop innovations that will be of value and service at the community, national, regional or international levels in achieving the SDGs.
Who can be a nominee?
- Nominees can be individuals, organisations, companies, charities or government ministries / departments / agencies;
- Nominees must be directly engaged in developing their innovations, either in a full-time, part-time or voluntary capacity;
- Nominees must be Commonwealth citizens, governments or public sector organisations in Commonwealth countries, private enterprises based in Commonwealth countries or civil society / not-for-profit organisations based in Commonwealth countries;
- Nominated innovations must be able to demonstrate impact or potential in achieving progress on one or more of the 17 SDGs in a Commonwealth country (or countries);
- Award winners must agree to take part in Commonwealth-supported activities and initiatives related to the Commonwealth Innovation for Sustainable Development Awards.
What is the basis for selecting Award winners?
- Level of achievement, impact or demonstrable potential of innovation to advance sustainable development in one or more Commonwealth countries; strategy, business / delivery plan and impact evaluation / results measurement framework;
- Level of innovation/fresh approaches to problem-solving;
- Quality of achievement and impact;
- Quality of the evidence and supporting documentation provided.
Three awards will be given in each of the following five categories:
Improve the well-being of Commonwealth PEOPLE
Improve PROSPERITY in the Commonwealth
Protect the PLANET and the natural environment in the Commonwealth
Promote PEACE and justice in the Commonwealth
Promote PARTNERSHIPS for development in the Commonwealth
There will be three award winners in each of the five categories, adding up to a total of 15 winners. In each of the five categories, one winner will be selected from the public sector (national/regional/local government), one winner from will be from civil society / not-for-profit sector and one winner will be an entrepreneur or a private sector company.
The award winners will be selected on the basis of an objective set of criteria by an independent jury composed of eminent people from different walks of life.
Each award winner will receive a trophy, a certificate and prize money of £3,000.
By entering this competition, you hereby consent to the collection and processing of the personal data you provide, and for the Commonwealth Secretariat to share your information with Third Parties where necessary for the purposes for which it was obtained. This information will be stored for up to 2 years, after which time it will be destroyed. If you have any queries, please contact [email protected].
Entry deadline: 15 October 2023 at 23:59 HOURS GMT
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