UN SDG Action Awards 2024 – Apply Now!

Deadline Date: June 17, 2024

 Donor Name: UN SDG Action Campaign

 Grant Size: Not Available


The UN SDG Action Awards, a signature programme of the UN SDG Action Campaign, champions initiatives and committed individuals who are wielding the power of creativity and innovation to bring closer to a more sustainable, equitable and peaceful world.

Anyone can mobilize action and achieve impact, even in the most challenging places and times. The campaign is committed to showcasing heroes changing the world, and sending a message of hope and infinite possibilities. 

Each year, a high-level Panel of Judges and a technical review team consider over 5,000 applications and nominations from 190 countries. They select Finalists and then the Winners.

The UN SDG Action Awards programme is made possible by the generous financial support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI) and German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Award Categories

  • Creativity Award
    • They are looking for extraordinary campaigns that, through the power of creativity, have galvanized SDG action. Such campaigns have achieved measurable results in shifting people’s behaviours and public perceptions and/or influencing policies and budgetary allocations to achieve more sustainable, equitable and peaceful societies—the vision of the SDGs. They have successfully leveraged a creative medium, including music, art, poetry, digital and multimedia, theatre, documentaries, dance, street art and any other form of creative expression, to advance the goals and/or promote human rights. 
    • Examples:
      • “A White Dress Doesn’t Cover the Rape”: A creative advocacy campaign that led to the repealing of Article 522 in Lebanon, which allowed rapists to avoid imprisonment by marrying their victims.
      • “Fight Forever Chemicals Campaign”: An advocacy campaign with a feature film that made an unseen health crisis visible and led to the approval of over a dozen anti-forever chemical bills in the US and in the European Union. 
  • Impact Award
    • They are looking for outstanding initiatives that, through innovative approaches tackling current challenges, have achieved significant, measurable impacts in improving people’s lives and accelerating progress towards SDG achievement. Impact implies remarkable improvements in knowledge, skills, empowerment, inclusion, behaviours, health and/or living conditions. Impact can be measured by several indicators, including economic, sociocultural, institutional, environmental and/or technological. 
    • Examples:
      • “The Masungi Story”: An initiative led by a youth group in the Philippines that stopped deforestation efforts and allowed for large-scale reforestation.
      • “Follow The Money”: An initiative led by a youth group in Nigeria that tracked public spending and increased accountability by leveraging social media and engaging citizens. 
  • Changemaker Award (Self-)Nomination
    • They are looking for exceptional individuals who have made a difference in their communities and societies. They are the movers and the shakers but also the people quietly working behind the scenes to make a difference. A changemaker imagines a new reality, and then acts and collaborates with others to make it happen. A changemaker stands up for equality, justice and human rights, and leads movements to rewire the world and light up the SDGs. Changemakers are identified through nominations or self-nominations. 
    • Examples: 
      • “Srishti Bakshi” walked over 3,800 kilometres across India to bring visibility to the issue of violence against women and inspire women to be agents for change. 
      • “Nery Santaella” has empowered Venezuelan migrants by making available tools and information enabling them to a life with dignity. 

Prize Information

  • Finalists will receive the following:
    • UN SDG Action Awards Ceremony and Finalist Induction Programme participation: One representative from each finalist initiative will be invited to attend the UN SDG Action Awards Ceremony and Finalist Induction Programme in Rome, Italy in October 2024. The one-day Induction Programme in Rome offers creative workshops, skills development sessions and networking prior to the inspiring UN SDG Action Awards Ceremony that subsequently unveils and celebrates the winners.  Flight and accommodation expenses will be covered by the UN SDG Action Campaign.
    • Global Recognition: Finalists and winners will receive international promotion and amplification through various UN platforms and beyond. 
    • Customized Trophy: Winners and finalists will each receive a prestigious trophy.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Campaigns/Initiatives must demonstrate proven results accordingly with the 2024 Categories within the last three years (thus campaigns/initiatives in the planning/conceptualization phase are not eligible).
  • Initiatives led by United Nations entities and national governments will only be considered for honorable mentions.

Judging Criteria

  • Impact
    • What is the tangible and measurable impact of the campaign/initiative in improving people’s lives and accelerating progress towards the achievement of the SDGs? 
    • Successful impact includes measurable results in shifting people’s behaviours and public perceptions and/or influencing public policies and/or budgetary allocations towards the acceleration of the SDGs.
    • Successful impact also indicates remarkable improvements in social, economic and environmental conditions including gender equality, health, capacity development, inclusion, economic stability, food security, climate adaptation and/or mitigation, environmental protection, and/or peace. 
  • Novelty/Innovation of the Approach
    • How innovative is this campaign/initiative? How does the initiative build upon a breakthrough idea? How innovative is its approach?
  • Scalability/Replicability
    • How does this campaign/initiative have the potential to be scaled up and/or be replicated in other contexts to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs? Has it already been scaled up and/or replicated?

For more information, visit UN SDG Action Campaign.

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