Open for Submissions: Water ChangeMaker Awards – Making Smart Water Decisions Visible

April 6, 2020 – As of today, the Water ChangeMaker Awards is inviting submissions from those who have shaped water decisions that have helped build climate resilience. Submissions close on 7 June 2020.

The Water ChangeMaker Awards, launched on World Water Day 2020 (March 22), are a new initiative of about 20 partner organisations, convened by the Global Water Partnership (GWP).

The world is facing new realities and much uncertainty in the midst of the global COVID-19 emergency. Now more than ever, smart decisions are needed on how we solve multiple, long-term, and interconnected global crises. One of those is the way we use and safeguard water and how we protect ourselves from water-related hazards, such as floods and droughts and pollution-related challenges in the midst of climate change. 

The Water ChangeMaker Awards are unusual in that, beyond celebrating Awardees and their teams, the submissions will provide a basis for creating learning communities of topic-specific groups to collaborate and learn from each other. Finalist and Winner experiences will also be included in the GWP ToolBox.


“Collaboration and shared learning are key to long-term change,” said GWP Executive Secretary Monika Weber-Fahr. “When we bring together people who have actually moved things, they can turn their experience into new possibilities for others, by learning and connecting with each other across the world.”


Submissions are welcome in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish. The submissions will be reviewed by an internationally recruited, independent jury led by water experts and supported by the GWP Technical Committee. The jury will evaluate submissions along four criteria:


Climate Resilience built through Water Decisions: the extent to which the initiative has contributed to climate resilience.


Magnitude and Longevity of Change: the extent to which the initiative has pushed the boundary beyond “business as usual” and broken down the inertia of processes or systems that have prevented decisions to be taken and action to move forward.


Depth of Learning: the extent to which the initiative has been mindful in using learning to improve and to bring about the changes intended.


Breadth of Collaboration: the extent to which the initiative has involved and mobilized others to achieve success, how it worked in collaboration with others, and how shared goals were built with others. 


There are a wide range of areas that the submissions can cover, including but not limited to: Water Decisions in leveraging Nature-Based Solutions for Climate Resilience; Building Integrity in Water Decisions; Mobilizing Women as Change Makers for Water Decisions; Mobilizing the Private Sector in supporting Water Decisions for Climate Resilience; and Mobilizing Youth as Change Makers for Water Decisions.


The water decisions that the Awards seek to recognise will have involved changing mindsets from inertia to action, speaking truth to power, and building new coalitions. They will have involved changing laws or policies, and mobilizing and inspiring others to collaborate.


The Awards Ceremony will take place in the context of a climate-oriented event where winners will have special access to leaders in the climate community and become part of a learning cohort. In addition, winning entries will be featured in a publication to be launched in 2021.


The Water Changemaker Awards are a contribution to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Resilience Frontiers initiative. The initiative is funded by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and other GWP Financing Partners. More information:


The following organisations are part of the Water ChangeMaker Awards (to be updated as more are added - the list is always up to date on


Co-Owners: Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA)Alliance for Water Stewardship (A4WS)Cap-NetCEO Water MandateGlobal Water Operators' Partnerships Alliance (GWOPSA)International Network of Basin Organisations (INBO)International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)International Water Resources Association (IWRA)Water Integrity Network (WIN)Water Youth NetworkWomen for Water Partnership (WfWP)World Youth Parliament for Water (WYPW)


Knowledge Partners: Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN)International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)


Strategic Partners: African Agriculture AllianceInter-American Development Bank (IDB)U.N. Development Programme (UNDP)The International Secretariat for Water (ISW)Global Environment Facility (GEF)Waterpreneurs, Water Aid, Geneva Water Hub