Each shortlisted entry will be scored on a scale of 0-10 for each of the 3 criteria below for a maximum overall score of 30 points:

  • Impact: What kind of tangible impact has this initiative had? What are the direct benefits and to whom? We will consider the number of people impacted, policies/legislation changed, etc. – (0-10)
  • Approach: How is this initiative new or transformative in comparison to what has been done before? Is it a breakthrough idea or process, or a whole new way to address an issue? Is it including those often left behind? (0-10)
  • Scalability/Replicability: Does this initiative have the potential to scale up or be replicated to create a greater impact? Is there any evidence that replication or scaling is already happening? (0-10)

The UN SDG Action Campaign is committed to ensuring that shortlisted candidates and winners are representative of the sectoral and regional diversity found within our pool of applicants.


Entries will be assessed to determine whether they are a good fit for one of the three categories of the UN SDG Action Awards: Mobilize, Inspire, Connect. Each initiative will then be scored for the degree to which it is considered to have an outstanding IMPACT, an innovative or transformative APPROACH and if it is REPLICABLE/SCALABLE.



All sectors are encouraged to apply and nominate initiatives to the UN SDG Action Awards. However, please note that national governments, UN entities and UN SDG Action Campaign official partners are not eligible for an SDG Action Award but their efforts will be highlighted through honorable mentions – an esteemed recognition to be featured as part of this programme, at the Awards Ceremony and through associated promotion and communications.


Eligible initiatives will have been launched between 2015 and now, including those implemented in response to COVID-19. All applications will need to demonstrate tangible impact of the initiative regardless of the longevity of the activation – thus ideas or projects that have not moved beyond the conceptual stage will not be considered.


Applicants can submit multiple initiatives under different categories. Please do not re-submit the same initiative to multiple categories. If you are unsure which category is the best fit for your initiative, you can include it in the overview description. The application will be assessed under the category deemed more aligned by the reviewers.


Those who have applied in the past to the UN SDG Action Awards are welcome to re-apply if (i) the previously submitted initiative has produced greater impact, or if (ii) if a new initiative has been designed and rolled out.