27 November 2019.





 United Nations Public Service Awards

The United Nations Public Service Awards (UNPSA) recognizes excellence in public service at the local, regional and national levels. It was launched in 2003 in order to promote and support innovations in public service delivery With the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)1, the UNPSA is focused on promoting and recognizing trans formative action that promotes creativity and innovation in public service delivery and the work of public sector institutions to enhance effectiveness, transparency and inclusiveness to leave no one behind.

More Details

The purpose of the UNPSA is to promote and reward innovation and excellence in public services in support of the realization of the SDGs and the principle of leaving no one behind, which is at the core of the 2030 Agenda. It takes into account the various development levels of countries while reflecting the universal nature of the SDGs.

Opportunity Focus Areas:

The Award’s 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.

Required Languages

English, Arabic, French, Spanish, Chinese, or Russian.

Eligible Countries


Program Period

The Awards are usually given out on 23 June, day designated by the General Assembly as the United Nations Public Service Day to “celebrate the value and virtue of public service to the community”.

Eligibility Requirements (Criteria)

  • 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.
  • Both self-nomination and nomination by third parties are accepted. Applications should be made by an organization.
  • The initiative must be innovative and relevant to one of the UN Public Service Awards categories3.
  • The initiative must have been implemented for a minimum of two years, with demonstrated and documented impact.
  • The application must be duly filled out.
  • The submission must include all the required supporting documents.
  • The initiative must not have already received a UNPS Award.
  • To avoid conflict of interest, the initiative must not be implemented by the United Nations System.
  • The application can be with any UN official language. However, it would be preferable, if possible, that applications be submitted in one of the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat, which are English and French.


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

Opportunity Cost


  • The Winners of the United Nations Public Service Awards receive a United Nations certificate of recognition and they are awarded with the prestigious United Nations Awards Trophy.

How to Apply

First Step: If you are a new member click on register from here and fill all the fields.

Second Step: The Online Nomination Form must be fully completed: all fields must contain the requested information. In the event that any field used to describe the initiative (“summary”, “timeframe”, “narrative”, etc.) is left blank, or if the answer does not directly correspond to the question asked, the initiative will not be evaluated.

Third Step: Send the following documents:

  • Evaluation Report: An internal or external evaluation/audit report or similar documentation that highlights the impact of the initiative is required. (Suggested name: 2020 UNPSA_Name.of.Initiative_Evaluation Report).
  • Two letters of reference: Two letters, written by a third party (i.e., not by the institution being nominated nor by the nominator) are required. It should highlight the achievements resulting from the implementation of the initiative submitted and underlines the reason why this initiative and/or institution is worthy of being awarded. (Suggested name: 2020 UNPSA_Name.of.Initiative_Reference.Letter).
  • (Optional) Up to five additional supplementary materials can be provided to demonstrate and highlight the initiative’s impact and outcome. This could be in the form of case studies, programme or policy briefs, project documents, newspaper articles or publications, outreach materials, videos, selection for other awards etc. 

Note: A Nomination can only be submitted through the Online Nomination Form of the UNDESA/DPIDG website. Before accessing the online nomination form you are required to complete screening questions to ensure that eligibility criteria are met.

Apply Now

More Details

Know more about this opportunity:

Official Website

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To learn how to write CV, Essays, Personal statement,  and know about recommendation letters click here:

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This Scholarship Published by:
Hager Darwish/ Egypt

Reviewed by”Eman Morsy\ Egypt
MARJ3 Intern
MARJ3 Scholarships team