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How to apply for 2016 Commonwealth Youth Awards

    Nominations are currently open for the 2016 Commonwealth Youth Awards for Excellence in Development Work. These award seek to recognize and reward inspiring youths around the world whose development work has had a significant impact on people and communities in their country or region.

    We are looking for young people aged 15 to 29 years, whose development work demonstrates the Commonwealth’s Plan of Action for Youth Empowerment, to:

    • Promote youth participation in decision making
    • Promote economic empowerment of young people
    • Take action for equality between young women and young men
    • Promote peaceful and democratic environment in which human rights flourish
    • Provide quality education for all
    • Improve access to information and communication technology
    • Promote health, development and values through sport and culture
    • Engage young people to protect the environment.

    Criteria for nomination

    Applicants are eligible to nominate themselves or be nominated by someone who is able to vouch for their legitimacy plus nominee’s development work. Please note that the nominee must meet the following criteria:

    • The nominee must have been engaged in their development work for more than 12 months either in a professional or voluntary capacity
    • It is very important that the nominee must be from a Commonwealth member country
    • The development work must be ongoing and in a Commonwealth member country
    • The nominee should not be older than 29 on 31 December 2016
    • Nominees should give permission for their names to be put forward (if nominated by someone else).
    • Award winners and finalists must agree to take part in publicity and activities generated by the Commonwealth.
    • The development work can be within any number of areas, including agriculture, skills training, arts and culture, environment protection, education, health and well-being, human rights, information and communications technology, journalism and many more areas including sport, science and sustainability.

    Nomination Process

    Please note that applications will open on 6 July 2015 and close 31 August 2015. Complete the online nomination form to submit a nomination.

    You will be required to provide:

    • Details about yourself
    • Details about the person you are nominating (if nominating someone)
    • The reasons you think the nominee (or you, if you are nominating yourself) deserves to win
    • A description of the development work and how it makes a positive difference to the lives of others.

    Awards will be given on the basis of:

    • Quality of impact
    • Level of innovation/fresh approaches to problem-solving
    • Quality of achievement
    • Quality of the evidence provided
    • Sustainability: building capacity of future generations to meet their own needs.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Who funds the awards?
    The Commonwealth Youth Award for Excellence in Development Work is funded by the Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP) of the Commonwealth Secretariat.

    How many awards are given each year?
    Four different finalists from each region will be selected (16 in all). From these finalists, one from each region will be chosen to receive a Regional Commonwealth Award. An overall Commonwealth Young Person of the Year 2016 will be decided from among the four regional award winners.

    What will the winners receive?
    Grants are awarded to advance the development work of finalists.

    The sixteen regional finalists will receive a £1,000 grant, a trophy and a certificate. The four regional winners will receive an additional £2,000, a trophy, and a certificate. The overall Commonwealth award winner, or Commonwealth Young Person of the Year, will receive £5,000 in total, a trophy and a certificate. The 16 finalists will be invited to receive their awards at an official ceremony in London.

    Who is eligible to be nominated for the award?
    Nominees must be aged between 15 and 29 years (as of 31 December 2016), and come from a Commonwealth member country.

    How will I know if my nomination has been received?
    We will respond to each nomination received with a confirmation email.

    How will award winners be notified?
    All the winners will be contacted directly. The panel will inform all nominees of the status of their applications during the notification.

    What if I do not know the contact details of the person I am nominating?
    Please make every effort to provide as much contact information as possible. We require at least an email address and telephone number so we may contact your nominee, especially if they are shortlisted for an award.

    How can I submit additional information on nominees?
    Additional information can be uploaded through the online entry form.

    Should I mail or fax my nomination form?
    Nominations can only be received via the online form or by email. If you are having problems with the online form, you may cut and paste the information into a word document and send as an attachment to

    Who will decide the winners?
    Winners are chosen by the Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General, representatives of Commonwealth governments (through High Commissions), Commonwealth civil society and youth leaders.

    For more information please contact:

    The Coordinator
    Commonwealth Youth Awards
    Commonwealth Secretariat, Marlborough House
    Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5HX, United Kingdom

    For more info:

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