Intercultural Innovation Award: Receive USD 200,000 + 1 year Support and Mentoring from UNAOC and BMW Group


Deadline: 27-May-21

Nominations are now open for the 7th Edition of Intercultural Innovation Award to support the most innovative grassroots projects that encourage intercultural dialogue and work toward a more peaceful and socially inclusive world by building mutual respect among peoples of different cultural and religious identities, rejecting violent extremism and embracing diversity.
The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the BMW Group, supported by Accenture, mobilize their resources, time and networks to strengthen the selected projects. This new model of collaboration between the UN and the private sector creates deeper impact, as all partners provide their respective expertise to ensure the sustainable growth of each project.


The main objective of the Intercultural Innovation Award is to identify and support innovative projects that are already being implemented and have potential for expansion and replication. The award is given to organizations that are implementing the project with the overall goal to sustainably expand and adapt the project to other contexts. Projects presented within this call must have shown successful outcomes during at least its first year of implementation.
Award Information

Awardees will receive funding to be used for project expansion and/or replication of their project. The total amount of the funding pool is USD 200,000 distributed evenly between the finalists.


  • The Intercultural Innovation Award is bestowed upon ten organizations. Awardees will benefit from a comprehensive one-year capacity-building program aimed at strengthening their work. The support program will consist of funding, training and capacity-building, customized support and mentoring. Support will also be provided to successful projects so that they can be replicated in other contexts or settings where they might be relevant. The specific support received will depend on the individual needs of the projects.
  • A detailed needs assessment will be conducted in conjunction with each of the awardees. UNAOC and the BMW Group, with the support of Accenture, will then mobilize resources to help those projects achieve their goals. After one year, a comprehensive evaluation will be performed in order to assess the impact of the Award on successful projects.
  • The organizations of awardees will also become members of Intercultural Leaders, an exclusive skills and knowledge-sharing platform for civil society organizations and young leaders that work on addressing cross-cultural tensions. Through an innovative online system, Intercultural Leaders will harness the solidarity of its members to maximize the impact of their work and help them foster cross-cultural understanding and cooperation.

Eligibility Criteria
Organizations that submit a project to the competition need to fulfill each and every one of the following criteria to be deemed eligible:

  • Organizations must be registered as a not-for-profit organization, such as a non-governmental organization, charitable organization, research and educational institution, labor union, indigenous group, faith-based organization, professional association, foundation and local or municipal branches of government.
  • Applying organizations must have been operational for a minimum of 2 years before April 2021; with funding base and project implementation (i.e. the organization must show registration as non-profit in their country of operation by April 2019 or earlier).
  • Applying organizations must be managing a project focused on promoting intercultural dialogue and fostering diverse and inclusive societies, and who are willing to expand their range of action. Examples include projects in the fields of promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment, preventing xenophobia, violent extremism, and hate speech, promoting the use of sport, art and culture as tools to drive social change and foster social inclusion.
  • The applying organization must have the willingness to expand the range of action of the project with UNAOC, the BMW Group and Accenture.
  • Organizations that have previously received any UNAOC support are not eligible to apply to the Intercultural Innovation Award.
  • Projects that have been submitted to previous editions of the Intercultural Innovation Award and were not selected, are eligible and encouraged to apply again. However, applying organizations cannot have been winners of previous editions of the UNAOC Marketplace of Ideas or BMW Group Awards.

Selection Criteria
Shortlisted projects will be evaluated against a comprehensive set of criteria. These criteria include three main categories:
The Project

  • Relevance – is appropriate for the targeted audience and in the local context where implemented, taking into account the necessity of the project, challenges posed by Covid-19, and which SDG it is tackling.
  • Quality – undertakes an in-depth analysis of problems/issues and sets a consistent intervention strategy.
  • Clarity – sets clear objectives and draws a logical connection between activities, outputs and outcomes.
  • Innovation – pushes beyond boundaries and excels in the use of original and novel methods (social media, arts, pedagogical approach, innovative training, etc.)
  • Measurability – impact of the project is measurable (i.e. number of beneficiaries, polls on attitude change, assessment of behavioral changes, clear policy changes, etc.)
  • Sustainability – demonstrates ability to be sustainable in the mid-long term.
  • Replicability – has the capacity to be replicated and scaled up in different settings. This is a key evaluation criterion.

The Organization

  • Organizational structure – is capable of achieving the goals set in the project.
  • Intercultural commitment – has proven interest and commitment in fostering diverse and inclusive societies (e.g. past reports, reference letters, etc.).
  • Work plan and budget – has set a realistic budget to replicate or expand the project.
  • Transparency – has made genuine and demonstrated efforts to adopt a policy of transparency.
  • Equality – has adopted equality and diversity policies as reflected in staff members, membership and activities.

The Application

  • Clarity – shows an effective communication of ideas and provides relevant examples.
  • Conciseness – provides clear and concise responses to questions.
  • Persuasiveness – includes insightful arguments and engaging narrative.
  • Applicants are encouraged to reflect on how the project has coped with the challenges that have occurred in the context of Covid-19 and how the project contributes to building back better.

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