UN Public Service Awards Recognize Eight Governance Innovations for SDG Implementation
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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The 2018 UN Public Service Awards recognized eight winners from the five UN regional groups.

Initiatives focus on: reaching the poor and most vulnerable; building inclusive institutions; and promoting gender responsive public services.

The awards ceremony was held on 23 June 2018, the final day of the UN Public Service Forum in Marrakesh, Morocco.

23 June 2018: The 2018 UN Public Service Awards recognized public institutions in Austria, Colombia, Indonesia, Kenya, Republic of Korea, Spain, Switzerland and Thailand for contributions to the SDGs. Since 2016, the Awards have been aligned with the SDGs, with an emphasis on implementation initiatives and operationalizing the leave no one behind principle.

The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs’ (DESA) Division for Public Institutions and Digital Government (DPIDG) facilitates the search for innovations in governance and public administration. Eight winners were chosen from 437 nominations spanning 79 countries. Nominations were submitted in three categories: reaching the poorest and most vulnerable through inclusive services and partnerships (194 submissions); making institutions inclusive and ensuring participation in decision-making (111 submissions); and promoting gender responsive public services to achieve the SDGs (38 submissions). Two winners were selected from the first category on reaching the poorest and most vulnerable, and three winners were selected from each of the latter two categories.

The Asia-Pacific region featured the largest representation, with 210 overall nominees. Winners from the region work on: early diagnosis and treatment of malaria (Indonesia); tax administration and transparency (Republic of Korea); and increasing services to immediately diagnose and provide initial treatment for cervical cancer (Thailand).

In Europe, the Talents for Austria initiative has been helping asylum seekers integrate into Austrian life, including through primary care (SDG 3), education (SDG 4), career guidance (SDG 8). In Colombia, a peacebuilding endeavor (SDG 16) has facilitated dialogues with young gang members and provided both employment and scholarship opportunities. Addressing the employment gender gap and a range of Goals, an initiative in Kenya is empowering women and youth through by developing skills in agriculture (SDGs 1, 2, 4, 5 and 8, among others). Also on gender, Switzerland is leading on a large-scale initiative to eliminate the gender pay gap.

An awards ceremony to showcase the initiatives took place during the UN Public Service Forum, organized by DESA and the Kingdom of Morocco from 21-23 June 2018, in Marrakesh, Morocco, on the theme, ‘Transforming Governance to Realize the Sustainable Development Goals.’ [2018 UN Public Service Awards Winners] [UN Public Service Day Homepage] [Background Information on the UN Public Service Awards] [UN Public Service Forum Homepage]

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