Commonwealth Secretary-General’s Innovation for Sustainable Development Awards, Deadline 31 January 2021

November 16, 2020

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. Applications for the 2021 Awards are now open. The deadline to apply or nominate someone for the Awards is 31 January 2021.

Key objectives

  • 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. In total, 15 winners will be awarded.  In each category, one winner will be selected from the i) public sector (national/regional/local government), ii) civil society/not-for-profit sector; iii) entrepreneur or a private sector company. The award winner will receive a trophy, a certificate and prize money of £3,000 (each). Award winners may also be invited to high-level forums such as the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and the Commonwealth Games.

  • 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.

Who can apply or be nominated?

  • 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.

For more application details and to register, visit the Commonwealth Website.