The Commonwealth Secretary-General’s Innovation For Sustainable Development Awards

The Commonwealth Secretary-General’s Innovation for Sustainable Development Awards aims to recognise and celebrate the contribution that innovators in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors are making in advancing the sustainable development goals in Commonwealth countries.

According to the Commonwealth’s Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland “The purpose of my Commonwealth Secretary-General’s Innovation for SDGs Awards is to recognise the enterprise and achievement of those who are serving communities in pioneering ways. 

By bringing their endeavours to wider attention through our Commonwealth networks, we are able to assist them towards attaining even greater success and to encourage further development and wider adoption of innovation for the benefit of people in others of our member countries and elsewhere.”

The five thematic categories of the competition include improving the lives of people; boosting prosperity; protecting the planet, promoting peace; and building partnerships for development in the Commonwealth.


Three awards will be given in each of the following five categories:

  • 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.

There will be three award winners in each of the five categories, adding up to a total of 15 winners. In each of the five categories, one winner will be selected from the public sector (national/regional/local government), one winner will be from civil society/not-for-profit sector and one winner will be an entrepreneur or a private sector company.

Each award winner will receive a trophy, a certificate and prize money of £3,000.

Award winners may also be invited to high-level forums such as the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and the Commonwealth Games.


  • 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.

How to Apply 

Nominations, including self-nominations, can be made here

Entries will be judged on their impact or the potential to advance one or more of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in Commonwealth countries.


Application deadline for the Awards is January 31st 2021.

For more information visit their site on