Judging Criteria

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.
How will my entry be judged?
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.

Eligibility Criteria

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.
Time frame
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.
Multiple applications
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.
Returning applicants
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.
Solidarity In Action Award
The Solidarity In Action Award calls for inspiring and impactful actions that have the power to lift hope and demonstrate the connectedness of humanity during this time of crisis. What separates this award from the other categories is the duration, process and organization of the action. Impactful human stories are arising across the globe where communities in isolation are coming together to celebrate healthcare workers, provide comfort in times of loneliness for vulnerable members of society and demonstrate – through acts big and small – that each person has a role to play in solidarity for humankind. Nominations in these categories will feature acts that have been borne out of the current global health crises, and will shine a light on the power we have together, whilst apart. This award category will focus on the story and the remarkable efforts that individuals have taken to create a sense of community during this time. Unlike the other awards categories, they are unlikely to be long-term initiatives but rather beacons of hope that we very much look forward to sharing far and wide, to further build a sense of solidarity when people all of the world need it the most. The application for the Solidarity In Action Award is much shorter process and we are calling for anybody, anywhere to share actions that have inspired or impacted them, even if they have no connection with the action itself.