About the UN SDG Action Awards

The UN SDG Action Awards recognize outstanding achievements and innovative efforts to promote action on the Sustainable Development Goals.

In order to achieve Agenda 2030, we will need to learn from some of the greatest innovators, mobilizers, connectors, storytellers, communicators, visualizers and includers from across the Globe! This awards program aims to find these change-makers and celebrate achievements being made in every corner of the earth, which all form a critical contribution to the international sustainable development movement.

The Awards celebrate individuals, civil society organizations, local governments and others who are taking actions to advance the 2030 Agenda.

Members of the global SDG community were invited to enter their projects, initiatives, networks and people for the chance win a UN SDG Action Award at the UN SDG Action Awards Ceremony on 21st March 2018 during the Global Festival of Action for Sustainable Development in Bonn, Germany (21-23 March 2018). Where applicable, award winners will also be invited to offer practical, hands-on workshop sessions at the Global Festival of Action for Sustainable Development to share their skills and good practices with participants.

UN SDG Action Awards Categories

1. Mobilizer

This award goes to the team that demonstrates greatest successes with mobilizing citizens or volunteers to act for the SDGs.

2. Storyteller

This award goes to the team that captures powerful human stories to help communicate the importance of the SDGs to people’s lives.

3. Communicator

This award is for the most creative or impactful communications campaign (local/national/international) to raise awareness about the SDGs and/or people’s voices and role in SDG action.

4. Visualizer

This award goes to the most innovative or impactful use of MY World or other citizen voices data to communicate with government or the public.

5. Innovator

This award goes to the most creative and innovative use of new technologies for communicating SDGs.

6. Connector

This award goes to the team/person with that demonstrates innovative or impactful ways to bring multiple stakeholders together, or building networks, towards SDG Action.

7. Includer

Leave No One Behind – This award goes to the group who make the most extraordinary and impactful effort to ensure that excluded groups become part of the SDG dialogue and implementation in their community.


Each submission will be evaluated against the degree to which actions were deemed to be transformative, inclusive and impactful.

Yes – with one exception. Outside of the defined Awards categories – we will be showcasing shortlisted submissions during the first day of the Global Festival of Action and asking festival-goers to vote for a People’s Choice Award winner! The winning submission could be from any of the categories, so make sure you register to attend the Global Festival of Ideas even if your submission has not been selected as a category finalist.

An expert judging panel will be convened of a variety of high-level stakeholders engaged in SDG implementation – further details to follow.

One entry per person will be accepted although organisations can enter into multiple categories if different teams/ individuals led the work.

Shortlisted finalists will be invited to join us at the Global Festival of Action for Sustainable Development from 21st-23rd March 2018, in Bonn, Germany. The UN SDG Awards Ceremony will be held on the evening of 21st March where winners will be recognized for their achievements and all shortlisted finalists will be invited to participate in workshop sessions at the event to share their most inspiring lessons and practical advice with fellow SDG stakeholders.

Shortlisted finalists will receive invitations to join the event as speakers and participants, but would be required to cover their own travel and accommodation costs.

All entrants are encouraged to participate in the Global Festival of Action for Sustainable Development, as there will be an extra award issued to the ‘People’s Choice Award’ on the evening of the UN SDG Action Awards Ceremony. Festival-goers will pick their favorite submission that was not shortlisted by the judging panel, from any category, the submission with the most votes will be awarded as part of the Ceremony.

The window for submissions will run from 1st December 2017 –15th January 2018. The submissions will be then be reviewed by the judging panel by 31st January 2018, with all shortlisted finalists being notified in early February.

Yes – every contribution towards achieving the SDGs is valuable and important, and we want to ensure that all initiatives are recognized and showcased. All submissions will be featured in an SDG Awards showcase on the Global Festival of Action for Sustainable Development website.

If you plan to complete a session submission or application for a stand in the Knowledge and Innovation Fair on the same project or initiative, please indicate this by ticking the relevant box at the end of the application form. You will need to ensure you then complete a session entry form and tick the box that links that session to your award.

To vote for the People’s Choice Award, choose your favorite initiatives from the list of finalists and rate their projects.

The quality assurance team monitors the voting and addresses any irregularities to ensure a fair process. From time to time votes are removed from the official tally if the origin is in question.