A National Experience of the Management of the UNESCO Prizes Process – Perspectives and Recommendations

Article date: 7 Jul 2016, Author: UK National Commission for UNESCO

UNESCO prizes celebrate those whose work furthers the Organisation’s mandate in building peace, security and sustainable development.

Often offering significant financial reward and media attention, it is essential that UNESCO prizes are awarded to the most deserving candidates, who will act as ambassadors for UNESCO and its constitutional values, and safeguard the integrity of the prize, the nominating Member State and UNESCO. A rigorous, open and transparent prize application process is central to achieving this.

This policy brief agrees with the conclusions of UNESCO’s 2012 evaluation of prizes. The policy brief will focus on practical considerations for National Commissions when managing UNESCO prize applications, rather than the UNESCO prize strategy itself. It outlines the main challenges that the UK National Commission for UNESCO (UKNC) has faced when processing UNESCO prize applications, and draws upon a series of interviews with former UK prize winners, expert peer-reviewers and the UKNC’s Accreditations Manager.

This brief provides an overview of the UKNC’s current and proposed approaches to contending with these challenges. The UK National Commission for UNESCO welcomes representatives from other National Commissions to share their own approaches to administering the UNESCO prize application process in country. If you would like to share your own approaches or respond to any of the ideas contained in this report, please email these to info@unesco.org.uk. The UKNC can collate these responses and circulate them among the global network of National Commissions in a follow up report.