2020 United Nations Public Service Awards

Deadline: November 27, 2019.

The United Nations Public Service Awards is the most prestigious international recognition of excellence in public service. It rewards the creative achievements and contributions of public service institutions that lead to a more effective and responsive public administration in countries worldwide. Through an annual competition, the UN Public Service Awards promotes the role, professionalism and visibility of public service.

The UN Public Service Day intends to celebrate the value and virtue of public service to the community; highlight the contribution of public service in the development process; recognize the work of public servants, and encourage young people to pursue careers in the public sector. Since the first Awards Ceremony in 2003, the United Nations has received an increasing number of submissions from all around the world.



The 2020 United Nations Public Service Awards (UNPSA) is now open for nominations under the following categories:

1) delivering inclusive and equitable services for all

2) promoting integrated mechanisms for sustainable development

3) developing transparent and accountable public institutions

4) promoting digital transformation in the public sector

5) promoting gender responsive public services to achieve the SDGs.



1. The Award is open to all public-sector institutions at the national, sub-national and local levels from all UN member states. In the case of partnerships (including civil society, private sector, academia etc.), the nominee must be a public-sector institution

2. Both self-nomination and nomination by third parties are accepted. Applications should be made by an organization

3. The initiative must be innovative and relevant to one of the UN Public Service Awards categories

4. The initiative must have been implemented for a minimum of two years, with demonstrated and documented impact
5. The application must be duly filled out
6. The submission must include all the required supporting documents
7. The initiative must not have already received a UNPS Award
8. To avoid conflict of interest, the initiative must not be implemented by the United Nations System



1. Alignment with the 2030 Agenda. The 2030 Agenda is a plan of action for people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership. The initiative should be aligned to the principles of the Agenda and its overarching priorities of leaving no one behind. It should support the implementation of the

2. Agenda and realization of the SDGs at the global, national, sub-national and local levels. Innovation. The initiative should present an innovative idea, policy, new approach, or a unique mechanism that supports the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. In the context of a given country or region, it could be to improve delivery of public services, solve a problem of public concern, or strengthen public institutions.

3. Significance. The initiative should have made a positive impact on a group(s) of the population and address a significant issue of public concern within the context of a given country or region.

4. Adaptability. The initiative should be applicable and adaptable to other contexts for possible upscaling or replication. Ideally, it should be conducive to similar innovations in other public-sector institutions within a given country, region or at the global level.

5. Sustainability. The initiative should be sustainable in financial, social and environmental terms, that the desired outcome can be achieved and maintained.

6. Partnership. The initiative should demonstrate that it has engaged relevant stakeholders and partners. It should not be limited to public institutions and government entities but inclusive of non-state stakeholders of community, civil society, and private sector.




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