Recognizing youth contribution to achievement
of the sustainable development goals

This category is open to applicants from all UN member states. Applicants could be individual youth above the age of 15 years and below the age of 30 years; a youth-led entity (defined as any entity, in which at least 50% of current management/leadership is below age of 30); or a youth-focused entity (defined as any entity, in which at least 90% of resources serve youth above 15 and below 30 years of age).

It includes five awards, each including a financial prize of USD20,000.

Each of the possible 5 awards will recognize a unique and successful development initiative by youth in one of the 5 key aspects of sustainable development covered in Agenda 2030, namely:

  • People: Ending poverty and hunger in all forms;
  • Prosperity: Ensuring prosperous and fulfilling lives in harmony with nature;
  • Planet: Protecting our planet’s natural resources and climate for future generations;
  • Peace: Fostering peaceful, just and inclusive societies; and
  • Partnership: Forging solid partnerships to implement Agenda 2030

In evaluating submissions, jurors will consider the extent to which the development initiative has been informed by, or upholds, where applicable, key principles holistic sustainable development underlying the vision of Agenda 2030, including:

  • Integrated: Addresses, in an integrated manner, the three dimensions of sustainable development, economic, social and environmental;
  • No one behind: Leaving no one behind includes being inclusive and focusing on and prioritizing the farthest behind;
  • Risk-informed: incorporates risk prevention and management, and where applicable, forges links between development, humanitarian and peacebuilding dimensions;
  • Global outlook: recognizes and addresses interlinkages between local action and global impact; and
  • Gender Balance: The full extent of development in line with the ambition of Agenda 2030 will not be achieved, if half of society -women and girls- does not get full and equal opportunity to reach their full potential

In presenting the development initiative, submission narratives describing the initiative are expected to provide evidence of and/or elaborate on the following:

  • Impact: Impact of the initiative on SDGs achievement, substantiated with:
    • Quantifiable results, linked to specific SDG targets, and where possible, indicators for SDGs measurement;
    • Validation of impact, through reference letters, one from people whose lives were affected by the initiative and another from a peer or mentor;
    • Previous recognition of the initiative, if any, national or international;
  • Scalability: If designed as a pilot or for small-scale of implementation, elaborate on potential for and feasibility of scaling-up the initiative to a larger, or national level, if applicable;
  • Sustainability : Elaborate on measures to sustain and ensure future viability of initiative. If specific plans for sustainability had been elaborated, please include; and
  • Innovation : Elaborate on how the initiative goes beyond “business-as-usual” development action and incorporates creativity and innovation applying, the following principles for innovation as appropriate.


Recognizing enablers of youth participation
action and impact for SDGs achievement

This category is open to entities that that are legally recognized and registered in a UN member state, in one of the following four sectors: 1) the governmental and public sector; 2) the private sector; 3) NGOs/foundations, 4) the media.

It includes three recognition awards. Winning submission from NGOs/Foundations only may be eligible for an accompanying financial prize of USD25,000.

Each of the possible 3 awards will recognize an initiative enabling genuine youth engagement & action for sustainable development in one of the following areas of enabling:

  • Institutional: Dismantling institutional barriers and/or creating opportunities for youth participation and action (for example, initiating a strategy, policy, regulations, laws, initiative, etc.);
  • Financial: Providing young people access to start-up financing and/or tools for enterprise viability and development, including incubating initiatives, or similar assistance; and
  • Technical: Providing young people with knowledge assets. technical know-how, skill-building support, including incubating initiatives, or similar assistance.

In evaluating submissions, jurors will consider the extent to which the enabling initiative has supported genuine youth engagement and action for sustainable development. In presenting the enabling initiative, submission narratives describing the initiative are expected to provide evidence of and/or elaborate on the following:

  • Impact: Impact of the initiative on enabling youth engagement and action for SDGs achievement, substantiated with:
    • Quantifiable results, providing numbers of young people benefiting and, where applicable amount of investment, for example:
      • Number of youth enabled to engage in SDG action (by dismantling institutional barriers and/or creating opportunities to youth action)
      • Amount of investment in youth SDG initiatives in the past year, by dollar amount and number of awardees, as relevant;
      • Amount of investment in learning and upskilling activities for youth to pursue their SDG initiatives in the past year, by number of certifications awarded, as relevant;
    • Validation of impact, through reference letters from youth enabled by the initiative to take action for the SDGs;
    • Previous recognition of the initiative, if any, national or international;
  • Scalability: If designed as a pilot or for small-scale of implementation, elaborate on potential for and feasibility of scaling-up the initiative to a larger, or national level, if applicable;
  • Sustainability : Elaborate on measures to sustain and ensure future viability of initiative. If specific plans for sustainability had been elaborated, please include;
  • Innovation : Elaborate on how the initiative incorporates creativity and innovation applying, the principles for innovation as appropriate; and
  • Involvement: Elaborate on the extent of youth involvement in the design and implementation of the initiative
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