Nominations Open for United Nations Public Service Awards 2018

Nominations Open for United Nations Public Service Awards 2018

Deadline: February 7, 2018

Nominations are now open for the 2018 United Nations Public Service Awards (UNPSA) – A Path towards the Achievement of the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals. The Awards recognizes excellence in public service at the global level. It was launched in 2003 in order to promote and support innovations in public service delivery worldwide. In 2016, the UNPSA was reviewed in order to be aligned with the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The UNPSA is organized and managed by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), through its Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM), in collaboration with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UNWOMEN).


The purpose of the UNPSA is to promote and reward innovation and excellence in public services in support of the realization of the SDGs and the principle to leave no one behind, which is at the core of the 2030 Agenda. It takes into account the various levels of development of countries while reflecting the universal nature of the SDGs.

Through a global competition that promotes the role, professionalism and visibility of public service, the UNPSA aims to:

  • Highlight innovations in governance;
  • Reward excellence in the public sector;
  • Motivate public servants to further promote innovation;
  • Enhance professionalism in the public service;
  • Raise the image of public service; and
  • Collect and disseminate successful practices for possible replication.

The Awards

The Awards are usually handed out on 23 June, day designated by the General Assembly as the United Nations Public Service Day to “celebrate the value and virtue of public service to the community” (A/RES/57/277). The General Assembly, in its resolution 57/277, encourages Member States to organize special events on that Day to highlight the contribution of public service in the development process.

The UNPSA Ceremony is part of a United Nations Public Service Forum, which takes place in different regions of the world. In 2018, the Forum will take place in the Kingdom of Morocco. n order to ensure a level playing field for nominations from different countries, the winners are decided according to the UN regional groups2 as follows:

  • Africa
  • Asia and the Pacific
  • Eastern Europe
  • Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Western Europe and Other Groups


The 2018 UNPSA will be given to those public institutions that have distinguished themselves in one of the following categories:

  1. Reaching the poorest and most vulnerable through inclusive services and partnerships;
  2. Making institutions inclusive and ensuring participation in decision-making;
  3. Promoting gender responsive public services to achieve the SDGs


  • The Award is open to all public sector institutions at the national, state and local levels from all UN member states. In the case of innovative partnerships (including civil society, private sector, academia etc.), the nominee must be a public sector institution;
  • Both self-nominations and nominations by third parties are accepted. Nominations should be made by an organization;
  • The initiative must be innovative and relevant to one of the UN Public Service Awards categories3 ;
  • The initiative must have been implemented for a minimum of two years, with demonstrated and documented impact;
  • The application must be duly filled out;
  • The submission must include all the required supporting documents;
  • The initiative must not have already received a UNPS Award.
  • The initiative must not be directly implemented, by the United Nations System
  • The nominations can be made only in one of the six UN official languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish). However, it would be preferable, if possible, that nominations be submitted in one of the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat, which are English and French. Nominations made in other languages (besides the six UN official languages) will not be accepted.

Who can nominate? Public sector institutions (e.g., ministries, Government departments, authorities and agencies; local governments, etc.), schools of public administration; UN agencies (only for initiatives which they have not supported); universities; non-governmental organizations and private sector.

Who can be nominated? All public institutions at the national, regional/provincial/state, local/municipal/city level from all UN member states are eligible for nomination. In the case of public-private partnerships, the lead nominee must be a public sector institution.

Selection Criteria

  • Alignment with the 2030 Agenda. The initiative should aim to improve people’s lives and respond to their needs and rights. It should enhance the contribution of public service to the realization of the SDGs.
  • Significance. The initiative must impact positively a group of the population and address a significant issue of public concern within the context of a given country or region.
  • Innovation. The initiative must present an innovative idea, a distinctively new approach, or a unique policy implemented in order to realize the SDGs or solve a problem of public concern, in the context of a given country or region.
  • Transferability. The initiative appears to be adaptable to other contexts (e.g. cities, countries or regions). There should ideally be evidence that it has inspired similar innovations in other public sector institutions within a given country, region or at the global level.
  • Sustainability. The initiative should be able to be sustained and have positive impact on the future generations.
  • Impact. The initiative has had a formal evaluation, showing some evidence of impact on improving people’s lives.
  • Stakeholders. The initiative must demonstrate that it has engaged stakeholders.

How to Nominate

  • A Nomination can only be submitted through the Online Nomination Form of the UNDESA/DPADM website.
  • Before accessing the online nomination form you are required to reply to some screening questions in order to ensure that eligibility criteria are met.
  • Deadline for submitting nomination forms: 7 February 2018.
  • Deadline for uploading and submitting all supporting documents: 12 February 2018.

In case you require technical assistance in the process of online submission, please contact the United Nations by email at: [email protected] or phone +1 (917) 367 3004.

Click here for Online Nomination Form

For more information, visit United Nations Public Service Awards.