2021 CIVICUS Nelson Mandela – Graca Machel Innovation Awards

Deadline: 20 September 2021.

In relation to a celebration of People Power, the International Civil Society week 2020 – 2021 will end with a celebration of the people power initiatives/ innovations from around the world. – 2021 CIVICUS Nelson Mandela – Graca Machel Innovation Awards

The awards will be given to seven individuals, organizations or groups that will stand out for their work concerning uplifting people’s power in support of social justice and human rights for everyone. Groups, individuals and organizations are invited to make submissions under the following topics that were explored at 2021 ICSW/virtual events:

A winner from each category will be selected. Each initiative that will win will receive a US $5,000 prize.

To further this celebration of people power more widely, the shortlisted initiatives or applicants will be featured for public endorsement on the People power Innovation Zone in October. The Seven innovation Awards winners 2021 will be announced in November.

The Innovation Awards 2021 will make the case for the vitality of people power and civil society activism in creating a more just, sustainable and inclusive world. The awards will enhance the platform for learning, sharing, building solidarity, and inspire activists, donors and other enablers who are looking for the most innovative approaches and solutions to support people power.


Apply now for the 2021 CIVICUS Nelson Mandela – Graca Machel Innovation Awards. Check the eligibility criteria below and submit the applications before 20 September 2021. In case of any questions send an email at ICSW@civicus.org.


  • You are 18 years or older by 1 September 2021
  • You are both resident and a national from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Pacific.
  • You have the ability to submit an application in English, French or Spanish.
  • You work with organizations, movements, networks or change-seeking communities at the national or local level. Both formally constituted and informal groups are eligible.
  • Your are a member of the same community whose issues you are trying to address. (i.e. If you work to increase youth participation in civil society, you ought to be a young person or your group must be youth-led)
  • You have toiled to build people power in your community for at least 2 years.
  • For individual Applicants, you belong to a network, an organization, movement or change-seeking community that will ultimately benefit from this award.
  • You are currently implementing the suggested initiative.

How To Apply

Interested individuals should follow the following steps to apply for 2021 CIVICUS Nelson Mandela – Graca Machel Innovation Awards:

  1. They must take the following eligibility quiz to ensure they are eligible.

2.  All applicants / Individuals who pass the eligibility quiz will immediately have access to the official application form. Once you fail the quiz you are not eligible to apply for the awards and cannot submit the form. The quiz will help faze out non-eligible participants to save time.

3. All applicants have 2 options to consider:

  • Download a template of the application form and prepare their answers in advance, so that when ready they can go back copy and paste in their online form and submit the online form.
  • Complete and Submit the online application form immediately when redirected to it.

Read more about the awards from the official website of CIVICUS.



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