Winners of the 2021 Innovation Awards!

Winners of the 2021 Nelson Mandela-Graça Machel Innovation Awards reflect the power of collective action.

The Awards, named for human rights icon Nelson Mandela and former First Lady of South Africa and Mozambique, humanitarian Graça Machel, honour the power of people to demand change for a more just, inclusive and sustainable world.

The 2021 Innovation Awards recognise groups that stand out for their innovative work building people power in support of human rights and social justice for everyone.  Through a public open call, submissions were accepted under the  topics explored during the 2020 ICSW/virtual events. After receiving an impressive 5,334 endorsements during the public support campaign for finalists, an external committee of civil society leaders and activists with thematic expertise reviewed and selected seven winners. 

The winners in the seven categories are: 

Building and sustaining movements for social justice: (South Africa)

Creating positive narratives for people power:IA Winners All
HIVE Pakistan's Campaign AIK Better Together

Democratising governance systems and processes:
Life in Leggings: Caribbean Alliance Against Gender-based Violence

Enhancing diversity and inclusion through artivism:
Together! Civil Society Organization (Ethiopia)

Protecting and promoting digital civic space:
Hashtag Generation (Sri Lanka)

Resourcing youth-led groups and movements:
Noble Missions for Change Initiative (Nigeria)

Sustaining people power through self- and community-care:  
Let's Walk Uganda   

We would also like to provide special (non-financial) recognition for the initiative that received the most endorsements on the Innovation Zone platform: Asociación de comunidades negras del Cesar Ku Suto (Colombia). The overwhelming public support received is an important indicator of the value their community places in their work.  

The winners were selected from a pool of more than 350 inspiring applicants from over 70 countries that participated in the open call. Each winner will receive US$5000 in recognition of their work in promoting people power, human rights and social justice. 

The Nelson Mandela-Graça Machel Innovation Awards are led by global civil society alliance, CIVICUSand seek to celebrate, promote, and defend a worldwide community of informed and inspired citizens engaged in confronting the challenges facing humanity.

For more information on the winners and other inspiring people power initiatives around the world visit the Innovation Zone


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