Annual Awards

The Annual Awards Program highlights sister city program achievements and brings international recognition to each community's contributions to the citizen diplomacy movement. Sister Cities International established the Annual Awards Program in 1962 to recognize exceptional sister city programs. Current dues-paying members of Sister Cities International with at least one formally recognized sister city partnership can apply for awards.

Winners are highlighted on Sister Cities International’s website, social media network, in national and regional press outreach, as well as during the Annual Awards Dinner at the Annual Conference with discounted registration.

Awards applications are open in the following categories:

The deadline to submit your application is April 13, 2018. Please read the eligibility and rules and regulations before applying.

Click the links below to view the Annual Awards winners from previous years.

2017 2016 2015   2014 2013  2012 
 2011  2010  2009  2008  2007  

THERE IS NO APPLICATION FEE TO NOMINATE YOUR PROGRAM FOR THE ANNUAL AWARDS. For any questions, email awards@sistercities.org.
Annual Awards

Best Overall Program Award

Download the Best Overall Program Award entry form here

The Best Overall Program Awards recognize sister city programs that demonstrate outstanding accomplishments in advancing the goals and mission of the sister cities movement. This award recognizes the overall program, including all sister city partnerships and affiliations. Awards are presented to six communities according to population size.

  • Population of less than 25,000
  • Population of 25,001 to 50,000
  • Population of 50,001 to 100,000
  • Population of 100,001 to 300,000
  • Population of 300,001 to 500,000
  • Population greater than 500,001

Innovation Awards

Download the Innovation Award entry form here

The Innovation Awards recognize the accomplishments of outstanding community and individual sister city programs that promote peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation in the categories of Arts and Culture, Economic Development, Humanitarian Assistance, and Youth and Education. 

Innovation Category:

Arts and Culture

  • Population less than 100,000
  • Population of 100,001 to 500,000
  • Population greater than 500,001

Economic Development

  • Population less than 100,000
  • Population of 100,001 to 500,000
  • Population greater than 500,001

Humanitarian Assistance

  • Population less than 100,000
  • Population of 100,001 to 500,000
  • Population greater than 500,001

Youth and Education

  • Population less than 100,000
  • Population of 100,001 to 500,000
  • Population greater than 500,001

Volunteer of the Year Award

Download the Volunteer of the Year Award entry form here

The Volunteer of the Year Award honors one exemplary volunteer for contributions to the sister city movement. It recognizes the leadership and talent that benefit local sister city programs and the larger sister city network. The Volunteer of the Year will receive complimentary registration to the 62nd Annual Conference in Aurora, Colorado.

Youth Leadership Award

Download the Youth Leadership Award entry form here

The Youth Leadership Award honors one exemplary youth (18 years and under) for contributions to the sister cities movement. It recognizes the leadership and talent that benefit local sister city programs and the larger sister cities network. The Youth award winner will receive complimentary registration to the 2018 Youth Leadership Summit in conjunction with the Annual Conference in Virginia Beach. 

Eligibility

All applicants must be an exemplary model of a sister city program and must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a current dues-paying member of Sister Cities International;
  • Have at least one formally recognized sister city partnership;
  • Submit entries for programs that were conducted during 2017 only; and
  • Must not have won in an Innovation Award in the same category in the previous awards cycle (awarded at the 2017 Annual Conference).

The Nominator for the Volunteer of the Year must meet the following criteria:

  • Be from a current dues-paying member of Sister Cities International;
  • Be actively involved in the local sister city program; and
  • Local program must not have won in the Volunteer of the Year/Youth Leadership Award category in the previous awards cycle.

The Nominee for the Volunteer of the Year Award must be an exemplary model of a sister cities program volunteer and meet the following criteria:

  • Be from a current dues-paying member of Sister Cities International;
  • Be actively involved in the local sister city program.

Rules and Regulations

  • Awards are based on achievements made in 2017.
  • All applicants must answer all questions on the application form. 
  • If entering your program in more than one category, please complete and submit a separate word document for EACH category.

Evaluating Your Entry

  • A panel of judges with experience in international affairs and sister city programs will review all entries and select award recipients.
  • Judges must be able to clearly understand the goals and accomplishments of your local program.
  • Tell your story as though you are presenting your entry to a person who is unfamiliar with your program. Please be mindful of the word limit on the program narrative statements.
  • Judges will convene to review all eligible entries and make final decisions.
  • Judges reserve the right to disqualify any entry that does not meet the eligibility criteria.
  • All participants will be notified of the results in writing.

Submission Requirements

  • Please email your answers in a word document, along with photos, to awards@sistercities.org.
  • All entries must be received by April 13, 2018. Applications received after that date will not be accepted. No exceptions!
  • Please note that incomplete applications will not be accepted.

NOTE: Supplemental materials may be required ONLY if your entry is selected as the winner. These may include additional photographs, newspaper articles, and press releases of the highlights for the sister city program.

You will receive a submission confirmation via email within 2-3 days of receipt. If you do not receive a confirmation from us, please email awards@sistercities.org.

Click here to view photos from the 2017 Annual Awards Dinner. 

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This year marks a pivotal moment during which Sister Cities International is celebrating 60 years of peace through people. Get involved in this momentous year.
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As the world becomes smaller, and connections online become more frequent than face-to-face interactions, multicultural understanding at the community level is more important than ever. Sister Cities International enables citizen diplomats in communities across the world to develop relationships with communities in other countries that are based on cultural understanding and mutual cooperation.Donate