CIVICUS Nelson Mandela-Graça Machel Innovation Awards 2021 [Prizes Rs. 3.6 L]: Apply by Sep 20: Expired

The call for applications for the Innovation Awards is now open. They invite individuals, organisations and groups all around the world to check the eligibility criteria and submit their applications before 20 September, 2021.  

About the Awards

The 2021 Innovation Awards will recognise seven individuals, groups or organisations that stand out for their innovative work building people power in support of human rights and social justice for everyone.  Submissions are invited under the following topics explored during the 2020 ICSW/virtual events:

Who Can Apply?

The Awards are open to any individual, organisation or group who meets the following eligibility criteria:

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Noticebard WhatsApp - Telegram Group
  • You are 18 years or older by 1 September 2021.
  • You are able to submit an application in English, French or Spanish.
  • You are both a national and resident from the following regions: Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Pacific.
  • You work with organisations, networks, movements or change-seeking communities at the local or national level. Both formally constituted and informal organisations or groups are eligible. 
  • You belong to the same community whose issues you are trying to address. (For example, if you work to increase youth participation in civil society, you must be a young person, or your organisation/group must be youth-led.)
  • You have worked to build people power in your community for at least 2-years.
  • For individual applicants: you belong to an organisation, network, movement or change-seeking community that would ultimately benefit from the Award.
  • You are not/ have not received funding from CIVICUS in the past 2-years.
  • Your work/ the proposed initiative relates directly to one of the following topics:
    • Building and sustaining social justice movements
    • Creating positive narratives for people power
    • Democratising global governance systems and processes
    • Enhancing diversity and inclusion through artivism
    • Protecting and promoting digital civic space
    • Resourcing youth-led groups and movements
    • Sustaining people power through self- and community care
  • You are currently implementing the proposed initiative.
  • One winner from each category will be selected. Each winner initiative will receive a US$5,000 prize. 
  • To share this celebration of people power more widely, the shortlisted applicants will be featured for public endorsement on the People Power Innovation Zone in October. The seven 2021 Innovation Awards winners will be announced in November. 
  • The 2021 Innovation Awards will help to make the case for the importance of people power and civil society activism in creating a more just, inclusive and sustainable world.  The Awards will provide an important platform for learning, sharing and building solidarity, and inspire activists, donors and other enablers who are looking for innovative approaches and solutions to supporting people power.
Selection Process

Applications will be assessed based on the selection criteria outlined below. Those applications that meet all the eligibility and selection criteria will be included in the People Power Innovation Zone database, with shortlisted applicants being featured for public endorsement in an Innovation gallery.

The 2021 Innovation Awards Selection Committee will shortlist the ideas featured on the People Power Innovation Zone based the following selection criteria: 

  • Relevance (20%) – does the initiative clearly address and build on one of the seven seven  key topics related to people power discussed during ICSW/virtual? (Applications that do not meet the ‘Relevance’ criteria will be disqualified.)
  • Innovation (20%) – does the initiative embody a new or renewed (for your context) approach, product or service that supports people power?
  • Experience (10%) – does the individual/group/organisation have demonstrated experience in organising and mobilising people, support and resources around initiatives, actions and campaigns?
  • Relevance to context (10%) – does the initiative clearly respond to a key challenge and need in the community?
  • Constituency engagement (10%) – does the initiative clearly demonstrate meaningful engagement with community/movement members?
  • Contribution to change (10%) – does the initiative make a significant contribution to building people power?
  • Enrichment (5%) – does the individual/group/organisation need greater visibility or solidarity to access financial or other support?
  • Endorsements (5%) – has the initiative received significant public/peer support?
  • Clarity (10%) – is the initiative clear and easy to understand? Is the thought process and vision well communicated?

The Selection Committee will moderate and identify the 2021 Innovation Awards Winners to reflect a diversity of perspectives, including:

  • Geographic – the final cohort will represent regional diversity
  • Thematic – the final cohort will focus on different topics and trends related to people power
  • Type – the final cohort will represent the diversity of civil society, e.g., smaller, less formal groups and movements, young people, traditionally excluded groups, etc.
How to Apply?

Interested candidates must follow these steps to apply for the 2021 Innovation Awards:

  1. Take the following eligibility quiz to ensure they meet the eligibility criteria: 
    1. English:  
    2. French:  
    3. Spanish:  
  2. Applicants who pass the eligibility quiz will immediately have access to the official online application form. Those who do not pass the quiz are not eligible to participate in the Awards and cannot submit an application form. We implemented the eligibility quiz to help non-eligible candidates save time and effort. 
  3. Eligible applicants have two options
    1. Complete and submit the online application form immediately when redirected to it.
    2. Download a template of the application form (also provided after passing the quiz) to prepare their answers in advance. When ready, go back to the eligibility quiz to access the online application form, copy-paste the prepared answers, and submit the online form
Application Deadline

September 20, 2021



Click here to view the official notification for the CIVICUS Nelson Mandela-Graça Machel Innovation Awards 2021.

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