Every year, the United Nations recognizes institutions around the world for excellence in delivering public services. The UN Public Service Awards (UNPSA) is an annual competition, promoting the role, professionalism and visibility of public service. This year, from among the 403 institutions from 67 countries that were nominated, seven institutions from seven countries were selected to receive the prestigious award. The call has now been made to find the 2021 honorees.

In launching the nomination process, UN DESA’s Under-Secretary-General Liu Zhenmin noted the importance of the 2021 awards as ‘the world continues to grapple with the wide-ranging impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic’. He noted that ‘the innovation, accountability and effectiveness of public administrations to respond to the crisis and to ensure a green, inclusive and sustainable recovery is more crucial than ever.’

The UNPSA will recognize innovations in the public sector that contribute to more effective and responsive public administration in countries worldwide, including those that contribute to achieving the global goals.

Mr. Liu stressed the importance of gender responsive governance and public service delivery, noting that ‘throughout the world, women have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, threatening hard-won advances in closing gaps between women and men across all areas of development’. In support of this, UN DESA will continue its collaboration with UN Women for the awards.

Public sector institutions are invited to submit nominations under one of four categories for the 2021 cycle:

  1. Fostering innovation to deliver inclusive and equitable services for all including through digital transformation.
  2. Enhancing the effectiveness of public institutions to reach the SDGs.
  3. Promoting gender-responsive public services to achieve the SDGs.
  4. Institutional preparedness and response in times of crisis.

Initiatives must have been in operation for at least two years at the time of submission, be nominated by a public sector institution, including in the case of public-private partnership initiatives.

Want to make a nomination? Get details and nomination forms in all six UN languages here. The deadline for submissions is 18 November 2020.