Call for nominations for the UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour Award on the occasion of the global observance of World Habitat Day on Monday 5 October 2020.

Please send your nomination by 17 August 2020 to UN-Habitat at accompanied by your online submission. Detailed guidelines are outlined below.

UN-Habitat is the United Nations programme working towards a better urban future. Its mission is to “promote transformative change in cities and human settlements through knowledge, policy advice, technical assistance and collaborative action to leave no one and no place behind”.

The UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour award was launched in 1989 and is one of the most prestigious human settlements award in the world. It aims to acknowledge initiatives which have made outstanding contributions in the field of human settlements, provision of housing, highlighting the plight of people living in poverty or who have been displaced, developing and improving human settlements and the quality of urban life to leave no one behind echoing the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 with emphasis on Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.

The award, a plaque engraved with the name of the winner, will be presented during the Global Observance of World Habitat Day on 5 October 2020.

The deadline for submitting entries for the UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour Award for this year is 17 August 2020.

Download the PDF version of the outlined Guidelines  for the 2020 UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour Award nomination.

Who can apply

Individuals, organizations, the private sector, government, non-governmental, bilateral and multi-lateral aid agencies dealing with sustainable projects which have had great impact in society, and any Habitat Agenda partner who has improved the lives of people can be nominated for the UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour.

These include:

  • Government and inter-governmental organizations or agencies, including bilateral aid agencies
  • Local and Regional Governments or their associations
  • Civil society organizations
  • The private sector
  • National Habitat Committees or focal points
  • Research and academic institutions
  • Public or private foundations
  • Multilateral agencies (United Nations Agencies, World Bank, etc.)
  • The media
  • Individuals


Candidates for this year’s UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour Award should submit details of their achievements by 17 August 2020. Submissions should not exceed 5 pages, however there is no limitation on supporting material that can be attached as annexes. All submissions should have the following format:

  1. Background

Substantive information about the organization or individual nominated, including mission, goals, history and duration of experience in the field of human settlements.

  1. Description of the initiative or project

Situation or problem addressed, objectives, target beneficiaries, investment in the project in terms of capacity, material and financial resources, activities undertaken, duration of the project, achievements and outputs (provide photographs/evidence of outputs), lessons learnt, best practices from the project.

  1. Main partners

List partners and their roles and levels of participation in the planning, design, implementation and funding of the project.

  1. Impact

Estimated number of beneficiaries, types of beneficiaries e.g. women, children, people living in poverty, victims of displacements, etc. Impact on beneficiaries’ living conditions e.g. social, economic, environmental, health, education, employment, security of tenure, crime reduction, community involvement in decisions/ governance, etc. Provide quantitative and qualitative values.

  1. Sustainability

Describe how the initiative has created lasting change (by enacting new legislation or policy, by promoting capacity building and community empowerment, by strengthening the institutional framework, by enforcing efficiency, accountability and transparency etc.).

Indicate how long the positive impact has been sustained so far. If there is ongoing investment to maintain the positive results, give details of how this is secured, and its commercial and social sustainability.

  1. Transferability and upscaling

Indicate whether this is a replicable best practice and explain the process of replication where applicable.

  1. Innovation

Describe the main innovative aspects of the initiative.

  1. Recognition of the initiative

Provide a list of references, articles, publications, media reports about the initiative starting with the most recent ones and where possible send copies of the articles as an annex.

The Selection processes

The selection process will consist of these steps:

  1. Selection will be made by a Committee comprising from UN-Habitat experts and senior management
  2. UN-Habitat will make an initial assessment of the nominations and submissions and verify that the submission conforms to the standards outlined in the guidelines. Qualifying submissions will be sent to the Selection Committee which will be guided by the World Habitat Day theme for 2020, Housing For All: A better Urban Future.
  3. The Committee members will make their recommendations to the Executive Director outlining their reasons for the selection of a maximum of five winning initiatives.
  4. UN-Habitat’s Executive Director, based on the recommendations of the Selection Committee, will make the final selection of the UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour winners.
  5. The UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour nominees will be notified by 2 September 2020 on the outcome of the selection.
  6. The winners will receive their awards during the global celebration of the World Habitat Day observance on 5 October 2020.

Areas of achievement

The adoption by the international community of both Sustainable Development Goals, which includes the standalone urban goal— (SDG 11) to make cities and human settlements safe, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable, — and the New Urban Agenda (NUA) — firmly places urbanization at the forefront of international development policy.

In selecting the winners for the award, the Selection Committee will look out for best practices initiatives and achievements related to SDG 11, which consists of 10 targets and 15 related indicators (see table 1: Targets and Current Indicators). Initiatives and achievements related to any of the targets/indicators are welcome. The Selection Committee will also look at achievements related to SDG 11 particularly in the context of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and innovative solutions.

This year, the selection committee will give particular attention to achievements related to this year’s World Habitat Day theme Housing For All: A better Urban Future”.

The Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, particularly Sustainable Development Goal 11.1 and the New Urban Agenda, all consider housing as an urgent and critical issue that must be addressed to ensure the future prosperity and sustainability of our planet.

International human rights law recognizes everyone’s right to an adequate standard of living, including adequate housing. Despite the central place of this right within the global legal system, well over a billion people are not adequately housed. Millions around the world live in life- or health threatening conditions, in overcrowded slums and informal settlements, or in other conditions which do not uphold their human rights and their dignity. Further millions are forcibly evicted, or threatened with forced eviction, from their homes every year.

Adequate housing must provide more than four walls and a roof. A number of conditions must be met before particular forms of shelter can be considered to constitute “adequate housing.” These elements are just as fundamental as the basic supply and availability of housing. For housing to be adequate, it must, at a minimum, meet the following criteria:

  • Security of tenure,
  • Availability of services, materials, facilities and infrastructure,
  • Affordability,
  • Habitability,
  • Accessibility,
  • Location, and
  • Cultural adequacy.

Nominations of individuals and organisations that have made a demonstrable contribution to achieving the seven criteria of adequate housing in a manner with the potential for replication at national, regional or global levels are encouraged.



SDG 11: making cities and human settlements safe, inclusive, resilient and sustainable: targets and indicators.


SDG Target 11.1 By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums



11.1.1 Proportion of urban population living in slums, informal settlements or inadequate housing


SDG Target 11.2 By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons.



11.2.1 Proportion of population that has convenient access to public transport, by sex, age and persons with disabilities


SDG Target 11.3 By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries



11.3.1 Ratio of land consumption rate to population growth rate.

11.3.2 Proportion of cities with a direct participation structure of civil society in urban planning and management that operate regularly and democratically


SDG Target 11.4 Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage



11.4.1 Total expenditure (public and private) per capita spent on the preservation, protection and conservation of all cultural and natural heritage, by type of heritage (cultural, natural, mixed and World Heritage Centre designation), level of government (national, regional and local/municipal), type of expenditure (operating expenditure/investment) and type of private funding (donations in kind, private non-profit sector and sponsorship).


SDG Target 11.5 By 2030, significantly reduce the number of deaths and the number of people affected and substantially decrease the direct economic losses relative to global gross domestic product caused by disasters, including water related disasters, with a focus on protecting the poor and people in vulnerable situations



11.5.1 Number of deaths, missing persons and directly affected persons attributed to disasters per 100,000 population

11.5.2 Direct disaster economic loss in relation to global GDP, damage to critical infrastructure and number of disruptions to basic services, attributed to disasters


SDG Target 11.6 By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management



11.6.1 Proportion of urban solid waste regularly collected and with adequate final discharge out of total urban solid waste generated, by cities.

11.6.2 Annual mean levels of fine particulate matter (e.g. PM2.5 and PM10) in cities (population weighted).


SDG Target 11.7 By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities



11.7.1 Average share of the built-up area of cities that is open space for public use for all, by sex, age and persons with disabilities.

11.7.2 Proportion of persons victim of physical or sexual harassment, by sex, age, disability status and place of occurrence, in the previous 12 months.


SDG Target 11.a Support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning.



11.a.1 Proportion of population living in cities that implement urban and regional development plans integrating population projections and resource needs, by size of city


SDG Target 11.b By 2020, substantially increase the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, and develop and implement, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, holistic disaster risk management at all levels.



11.b.1 Number of countries that adopt and implement national disaster in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030a.

11.b.2 Proportion of local governments that adopt and implement local disaster risk reduction strategies in line with national disaster risk reduction strategies


SDG Target 11.c Support least developed countries, including through financial and technical assistance, in building sustainable and resilient buildings utilizing local materials.



11. c.1 Proportion of financial support to the least developed countries that is allocated to the construction and retrofitting of sustainable, resilient and resource-efficient buildings utilizing local materials.


Timeframe for the call for nominations of the 2020 UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour Award


17 June 2020


Call for nominations


17 August 2020


Deadline for submissions


2 September 2020                       


Winners selected and notified


5 October 2020


UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour awards presented at the Global Observance of World Habitat Day


How to nominate a candidate

To nominate an organization, individual or project for this year’s award:

  • Submit the duly filled online nomination form in English on the website here.
  • Or submit the nomination form in English with attachment to
  • It is not possible to nominate yourself, your own organization or project.
  • Nominations must come from a third party. Examples include: A government can nominate a programme or an institute; an institute can nominate another institute or different entity like an NGO, individual or government ministry; the head of a university can nominate a professor from a different programme or institute; a government can nominate a city or an individual; a city can nominate a government representative, university, NGO or Ministry; an individual can nominate an institution or programme as long as they do not work there and so on

Terms and conditions will apply

  • The prize for the winning entry will be awarded to the person or organization named in the submission form, who may not necessarily be the holder of the copyright.
  • All entries will be available for international exhibition, demonstration, publication and media coverage and UN-Habitat will not be required to seek further permission from the copyright holders for any such use.
  • Where the submission of a project is made by someone other than the holder of the copyright, a permission in writing is required indicating that the holder of the copyright agrees (a) to the submission, and (b) to the terms indicated in points 1 and 2 above.
  • Supporting material such as press clippings (PDF), videos (YouTube URL) and photographs (JPEG) are highly welcome.
  • Please note that all details with attachments in line with the guidelines for nominations are to be submitted online in English, or by email to
  • In case of questions please contact us at

Any submission which does not meet the criteria, is incomplete, or received after the deadline of 17 August will not be considered

Please submit your submission online through the below link