The CSO Excellence Awards are issued by as part of the CSO Week in order to celebrate, recognize and honor achievements and contributions made by different institutions or individuals that have influenced development policy and practice in Tanzania. 

Individuals or organizations are invited to nominate people or organizations that have had outstanding impact in specified areas. Self-nominations are allowed. 

A panel of neutral judges with experience in relevant fields will be appointed to review the nominations and select 3 nominees in each category as the finalists. The panel will then interview all finalists and document brief impact stories. Finally, the panel will review the stories and select the awardees for each category. The nominations and stories will be scored based on the below criteria:






Development Impact (How significant is the change compared to baseline situation?)



Scale and/or replicability of the change



Sustainability of the change



Impact to the most marginalized and vulnerable









Outstanding contribution in gender equality

This category is ideal for institutions or individuals who have done outstanding work in fighting to eliminate harmful practices against women and girls, female genital mutilation (FGM), gender-based violence (GBV) and other forms of oppression against women; and those that have ensured women and men enjoy the same rights and opportunities across all sectors of society, including economic participation and decision-making.

Outstanding impact in social accountability.

This award targets institutions or individuals who have aided citizen groups to hold public officials, politicians, and service providers to account for their conduct and performance in terms of delivering services, improving people’s welfare and protecting people’s rights. These institutions or individuals have typically gathered information about government programs so that they have solid evidence, analyzed this information, and then used it judiciously to engage with public officials, politicians, and service providers and demand that they serve the public interest efficiently, effectively, and fairly.

Outstanding contribution in peace building and conflict management.

This award targets organizations or individuals who have worked towards addressing the reasons why people and supported societies to manage their differences and conflicts without resorting to violence. These institutions or individuals have typically made efforts aimed at managing, mitigating, resolving and transforming the central aspects of political, religious, social conflicts through peace processes such as dialogue, negotiation, and mediation.

Outstanding engagement with government for social change.

This award targets organizations or individuals that have collaborated with the government to bring any significant change in their societies. This may include engaging government through inclusion in various decision making bodies, policy engagement or any other form of engagement that can demonstrate the value of civil society – government relations.

Outstanding citizen engagement.

This award targets organizations that have invested a lot of effort in enabling citizens to own the development process in their localities. Citizens acting together with your organization to protect public values or make a change or difference in the community are common types of citizen engagement. This organization has fostered citizen engagement and sustainability of its interventions by allowing regular volunteering, capacity building, membership in groups or associations, fund raising and community problem solving.

Outstanding use of innovative and creative methods to achieve change

This award targets organizations or individuals that have brought out new ideas, techniques as well as implementation in order to achieve one or more development goals. This may not only focus on new or emerging technologies but may also involve old technologies or methods being applied in new areas or fields.

Outstanding private sector contribution in social development,

This award targets private sector actors, both institutional or individual who have used their resources and efforts to achieve development impact. This may include impactful corporate social responsibility initiatives carries out by private sector companies.

Outstanding contribution in local philanthropy and resource mobilization

This award targets organizations or individuals who have enabled the mobilization of local resources in the interest of achieving developmental goals. The promotion of local philanthropy and resource mobilization could be done through private donations or fundraising efforts aimed at addressing poverty and manifestations of poverty.

Outstanding contribution in livelihood development

This award targets organizations or individuals who have improved the quality of life for poor or marginalized people by providing them with access to livelihood opportunities and contributing to increasing their savings or income and reducing their losses.

Outstanding contribution in
disability rights

This award targets organizations or individuals who have worked to break institutional, physical, and societal barriers that hinder people with disabilities’ access to services and prevent them from enjoying their rights.

Outstanding Covid-19 response

This award targets organizations or individuals that have been instrumental in saving lives through initiatives aimed at curbing the effects of Covid-19

Outstanding Civil Society Coverage in Media

This award targets media organizations or individuals that have been outstanding in their work with civil society organizations, or in presenting issues of interest to CSOs.