Commonwealth Secretary-General’s Innovation for Sustainable Development Awards 2021 (£3,000 prize)

Commonwealth Secretary-General’s Innovation for Sustainable Development Awards 2021 (£3,000 prize)

Deadline: January 31, 2021

Applications are open for the Commonwealth Secretary-General’s Innovation for Sustainable Development Awards 2021. The Commonwealth Secretary-General’s Innovation for Sustainable Development Awards recognise and celebrate the contributions that innovators in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors are making in advancing the sustainable development goals in Commonwealth countries.

The key objectives of the awards are to:

  • Identify, highlight and support the innovations that show demonstrable potential for advancing sustainable development in Commonwealth countries.
  • Help create an environment that will encourage and sustain funding, mentoring and support to scale up innovations led by governments, businesses, women, young people and not-for-profit organisations across the Commonwealth.
  • Showcase the depth and breadth of innovation potential, grit, determination and creativity that exists across the Commonwealth.
  • Inspire, encourage and challenge Commonwealth citizens to develop innovations that will make a positive difference to their communities, countries and the Commonwealth.


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.


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.

  • Each award winner will receive a trophy, a certificate and prize money of £3,000.
  • Award winners may also be invited to high-level forums such as the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and the Commonwealth Games.


  • Nominees can be individuals, groups or teams, 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).
  • Nominees must be willing to take part in Commonwealth-supported activities and initiatives related to the Commonwealth Innovation for Sustainable Development Awards.

Selection Criteria

The winners will be selected by an independent and eminent panel of judges appraising them on:

  • 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.


The deadline for applications is January 31, 2021.

Click here to apply

For more information, visit Commonwealth.