NOW-Us! Award

Aren’t you just dreaming of a more inclusive world, but are you actually creating one? The NOW-Us! (NOthing about us, Without Us) Award honours inspiring inclusive initiatives from Africa and Asia that trigger empowerment of otherwise excluded groups. Are you operating in one of these countries and giving a voice to groups that should be heard and included? Submit your initiative l, to be one of the ten teams that get the opportunity to attend a week full of further empowerment and win up to 25.000 euro! 

To provide a podium for southern frontrunners in inclusive development, The Spindle teamed up with the innovative grant facility Voice to launch the first edition of the NOW-Us! Award. Let’s make some room on the stage for southern initiatives that are taking inclusive approaches to catalyze change for the most marginalized and discriminated groups!

What are we looking for?
We are looking for African and Asian* initiatives that are directly led by one of the target groups, following the principle of Nothing About Us Without Us. This means that only initiatives, developed and led by one of the target groups for the benefit of those same target groups, can be submitted. The target groups are:
  1. People with disabilities
  2. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people
  3. Women facing exploitation, abuse and/or violence
  4. Age discriminated vulnerable groups, notably the young and the elderly
  5. Indigenous groups and ethnic minorities
​We are especially interested in initiatives supporting people that suffer from double or overlapping vulnerabilities. We look for inclusive initiatives that improve access to productive resources (finance, land and water) and employment, social services, health and education in particular and/or space for political participation. Initiatives from any type of organization are welcomed: movements, formal or informal, long established or pop-up initiatives.

What’s to win?
The best ten initiatives get the chance to come to the Netherlands in the second week of October and attend the ‘NOW-Us! week’, a week full of inspiring workshops, debates and unconference days preceding the Partos Innovation Festival. Bring your initiative to the next level and get the chance to connect with other inspiring innovators that work in the field of inclusive development cooperation.

Pitch your initiative on the 5th Partos Innovation Festival in Amsterdam on October 11th, where we celebrate and highlight innovative ideas in the field of development cooperation. Expect inspiring talks and follow sessions on new ways of working together, inclusion, digitalization & data, youth movements, activism, SDGs and storytelling.

Win the NOW-Us! Award in the presence of peers from around the world, a delegation of the most important Dutch NGOs and win a grant for the numbers 1,2 and 3 of respectively €25.000, €15.000 and €10.000.

Selection Criteria
  1. Focus on impact in at least one of the three impact areas:
    • Improved access to (productive) resources (finance, land and water) and employment
    • Improved access to social services, health and education in particular
    • Improved access to space for political participation
  2. Being target group led and/or the extent to which the target group is involved in your project. We advocate the principle of ‘Nothing about us, without us’
  3. Being inclusive – this is related to attitude, communication, accessibility & participation. It can be understood as a set of linked, unending processes that have to do with the participation of individuals: the creation of settings, systems (procedures, policies, and laws) that encourage participation; and with putting ‘inclusive’ values into action. All three are about everyone rather than about a particular group.
  4. Being effective, meaning that you can show proof of concepts and that the activities you execute logically lead to the desired change you envision.
  5. Being innovative, meaning not only creating new ways of working but also creating space for improvement in every step of the implementation. This implies flexibility, to allow for the implementation of new ideas. Sustainability of your initiative – the likeliness that your initiative will continue to have an impact after your project had finished. Anything that has not been tried in a particular context and/or with a particular target group.
  6. Being connected, meaning the way you have connected your initiative to local stakeholders and possibly non-usual (but effective) collaborations.
  7. To be able to reach out in your community and tell the story of your initiative and where possible trigger other parties to join your cause or use your approach as an inspiration.
  8. Sustainability of your initiative – the likeliness that your initiative will continue to have an impact after your project finished.
  9. Your team, the capacities and skills you have to execute the proposed interventions and the drive, commitment and persistence to organise for the ambitions you have.

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