Open Call 2017 RCE Awards

2017 RCE Awards for Innovative Projects on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

The Global RCE Service Centre of the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) announces a call for nominations for the sixth annual RCE Awards.

RCEs are encouraged to nominate one of their ongoing flagship projects or programmes for the Award. Flagship activities illustrate how RCEs address local sustainable development challenges.

RCE Flagship Projects

Distinct sustainable development capacities, expertise and resources within RCEs are selected based on their contribution to development of transformative learning systems and sustainable development of their regions. The purpose of the Award is to celebrate outstanding projects and programmes on ESD to increase the visibility of the work of individual RCEs as well as the Global RCE network.

Projects and programmes nominated for the Award demonstrate how an RCE is promoting multi-stakeholder learning processes through policy dialogue, research and collaborative partnerships. Award recipients are featured at the annual RCE Global Conference.

Outstanding Flagship Projects

Projects receiving the Outstanding Flagship Award Category will receive one travel grant for each project to join one of the upcoming RCE meetings/conferences in 2018. We strongly encourage Youth to take up this grant in order to increase participation of Youth during the RCE meetings.


Submissions are invited in any of the following categories to underscore the contribution of RCEs to the goals of the Global Action Programme (GAP) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Across these categories RCEs implement a broad range of ESD projects and programmes that include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Bridging local and global perspectives on sustainable development.
  • Engaging with transformative learning and research for sustainable development.
  • Enabling policy formulation and/or institutional change.
  • Contributing to community engagement, research and development.
  • Contributing to capacity development of stakeholders and partners.

Thematic areas

  1. Biodiversity
  2. Traditional Knowledge
  3. Climate Change
  4. Disaster Risk Reduction
  5. Higher Education
  6. Sustainable Consumption and Production & Livelihoods
  7. Youth
  8. Health and Nutrition
  9. Other


  • Nominated projects and programmes need to:
  • Be a partnership between different RCE stakeholders (at least two contributing stakeholder organizations). Engagement of stakeholders from different sectors is encouraged.
  • Be supported (joint nomination) by the key RCE participating stakeholders.
  • Be in the final stages of implementation.
  • Have not been submitted in a previous RCE Award Programme.
  • Be the only one submission for a chosen thematic category for the RCE (one submission per thematic category is accepted from each RCE).


To receive the Award, RCEs must demonstrate that their nominated projects and programmes meet the above criteria and furthermore:

  • Address one or several sustainability challenges in the region.
  • Describe project's significance in the region
  • Link a regional sustainability challenge to a global challenges or processes.
  • Contribute to formal and/or non-formal learning and educational processes for sustainable development.
  • Discuss and demonstrate transformative learning and research dimensions in the project.
  • Discuss and demonstrate development of new knowledge and innovations with reference to project category (if applicable).
  • Encourage community engagement and empowerment (if applicable)
  • Engage multiple stakeholders within a defined coordination structure.
  • Improve capacities of partners and stakeholders
  • Contribute to institutional and policy reforms (if applicable)
  • Discuss any challenges faced during implementation and how they were dealt with and overcome
  • Discuss the ways of dissemination of project results
  • Discuss ways of further scaling up, mainstreaming and deepening ideas and actions of the project (ways forward), including possible mentions of application in other regions or other interested RCEs.
  • Discuss novelty of project within the RCE network
  • Provide adequate references and links (if applicable)

Format for submission and review

Online submission of the Award project or programme is to be done on the RCE Portal and must be done as part of the Annual Reporting. Awards can be submitted during 1st September 2017 – 31st October 2017. Awards are tied to the submission of the RCE's Annual Report. You need to submit the Annual Report first before the Award application page will open.

After a thorough review of the submitted materials by the RCE Award Working Group made up of RCEs and UNU-IAS, the winners will be announced during the Global RCE Conference in November.