Deadline: October 21, 2020

Applications are open for the Commonwealth Youth Awards for Excellence in Development Work 2021. The Awards aim to raise the profile of young people and highlight the contribution they are making towards developing a fairer, sustainable, peaceful, and prosperous future for the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth Youth Awards give international, regional and national recognition and support to those young men and women who have demonstrated young peoples capacity and potential to make positive contributions to their communities, nations and the world at large. Young people are not passive beneficiaries of development and spectators to programmes and of policies that affect their development, but rather are integrally involved in the process of change as they continue to work side by side with decision makers as key actors and stakeholders contributing to national development. The young people who will receive this award should demonstrate measurable/tangible impact through their development work.


There will be five finalists per Commonwealth region with the top entry receiving the Regional Winner Award and the overall top regional winner receiving the Pan Commonwealth Award and be named the Commonwealth Young Person of the Year 2021.

  • The 20 Regional Finalists will each receive a £1,000 grant, a trophy and a certificate.
  • The 5 Regional Winners will receive an additional £2,000 (a total of £3,000) a trophy and a certificate.
  • The Pan Commonwealth Winner will receive an additional £2000 (a total of £5,000) a trophy and a certificate.
  • The 5 Regional Winners and Pan Commonwealth Winner will be officially announced during Commonwealth Week in March 2021.

This year’s award includes special recognition for young people who have made outstanding efforts to tackle development challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • The nominee must have been engaged in development work for more than 12 months, either in a professional or voluntary capacity;
  • The nominee must be a Commonwealth citizen and the development work must be taking place in a Commonwealth member country;
  • The nominee should not be older than 29 on 31 December 2020;
  • Individuals can nominate themselves or be nominated by someone who can accurately describe their development work.
  • The winners must agree to take part in publicity generated by the Commonwealth.

Selection Criteria

Awards will be decided on the basis of:

  • Level of Impact;
  • Level of innovation/fresh approaches to problem solving;
  • Quality of achievement;
  • Quality of the evidence provided.
  • Sustainability


Entries must be received by 23:59 on October 21, 2020.

Click here to apply

For more information, visit Commonwealth Youth Awards.

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