Eligibility Criteria

This Prize will be given to six high schools, from six geographic regions that can demonstrate impact, innovation and inspiration to enable inclusive and equitable access to quality education. Schools must propose projects to be implemented within 12-24 months of receiving the Prize, with tangible outcomes in the areas of sustainable health, food, energy, and water.

These projects need to be designed to deliver positive educational impact including access to quality education and ensure that students are given key skills and enhanced abilities to achieve their goals. Ideally, projects should demonstrate new and innovative approaches and be inspirational for others. One school will win in each of the six regions. They are:

1. The Americas
2. Sub-Saharan Africa
3. Middle East & North Africa
4. Europe & Central Asia
5. South Asia
6. East Asia & Pacific

The award in this category is not given for past achievements but will enable winning schools to develop sustainability projects for implementation in their own schools. The proposed project should result in clear, measurable educational benefits, in relation to:

• Improving access to quality secondary education
• Eliminating gender disparity and advocating for equal access to education
• Helping youth and adults achieve literacy and numeracy and acquire knowledge, technical and vocational skills for decent jobs and entrepreneurship for sustainable development

These education outcomes should be achieved by implementing student-led projects that are using renewable energy and energy efficiency, providing clean and affordable water, sustainable and healthy food and/or improving access to quality healthcare. The specific projects could be in one area (e.g. water) or a combination of areas (e.g. energy, water, food, health).

The category is open to all high schools with students between 11-19 years old. The application must be submitted by the school and supported by its management. The winning school projects will:

1.    Show how they meet the three criteria: impact, innovation, inspiration; as explained in the Evaluation Criteria section of the website.
2.    Be submitted by schools that have multiple years of students (i.e. it cannot be a semester school).
3.    Benefit the school community for several years. It should be able to be built and operational within one to two years.

If you believe you have a project that could win the Zayed Sustainability Prize, we want to know about it!

prize fund

global high schools
US$ 600,000

(divided amongst 6 Schools, awarding each up to US$100,000)

Evaluation Criteria

The evaluation criteria is split into three parts, each with their percentages of influence on the initial assessments. They are:

Innovation 20%

The innovation criterion aims to evaluate two aspects:

Firstly, how your proposed project is inventive, resourceful and creative in its educational approach - aiming to maximise educational benefits for students (this can be through student participation and engagement, innovative teaching and learning methods, use of technology or other resources etc.).

Secondly, project proposals should articulate where they are using renewable energy or energy efficiency applications, sustainable water solutions, sustainable food/agriculture or health solutions innovatively to enable more students to access affordable, quality education.

impact 50%

The impact criterion is focused on two aspects:

The positive educational impact you will create for your current and future students – this could include areas such as improved access to education, improving specific skills such as literacy, numeracy or employability, impactful research projects which promote sustainable development or improving education infrastructure and facilities.

Tangible sustainability outcomes your project/solution will produce – in terms of sustainable energy, water, health and food in your school (or wider community).

inspiration 30%

The inspiration criterion will assess the extent to which projects can be sustained in the long term and inspire future generations of students, beyond the one-two year project proposal. The long-term nature is also related to whether applicants are able to catalyse further action in their wider community and other schools. Finally, it will also assess whether there is potential for students to be inspired to pursue their careers as a result.