PA Awards - Evaluation Guidelines

All stated procedures in this phase refer to the process specified on the selected contest platform

Evaluation Criteria

  • Effective, Impactful & Tangible Results  
  • Participatory, Inclusive & Collaborative
  • Transparency, Integrity & Accountability
  • Sustainability
  • Forward-looking & Innovative
  • Visibility & Public Concern
  • Transferability & Replicability


Criteria description and definitions

1. Effective & Impactful & Tangible Results

Applicants must show evidence of the transformations and improvements observed   through the implementation of the initiative in addressing the identified issues and challenges and the objectives of the initiative.

The project/case must be in operation long enough for there to be evidence of its impacts.
  • Relevance: The initiative should have made a positive impact on a group(s) of the population and/or address a significant issue of public concern within the context of a given country or region.
  • The evidence should demonstrate that the initiative was effective, efficient (if applicable), had an economic impact.
  • The inclusion of both qualitative data (increase in satisfaction) and quantitative statistics to support the initiative is encouraged.
  • The initiative must bring a real benefit for a significant number of citizens and businesses and/or have achieved a significant reduction in direct or indirect economic costs or social savings.

2. Participatory & Inclusiveness & Collaborative

The initiative must be based on an  inclusive approach that understands diverse needs, preferences, and challenges faced by citizens, e.g. through the involvement of the beneficiaries and other stakeholders in the design, operation, management, monitoring and evaluation of the initiative. Inclusiveness can also be achieved through the (co)ownership of the project by engaging diverse stakeholders, including citizens, civil society organizations, and private sector partners.

  • The initiative must identify and map beneficiaries and other stakeholders.
  • The initiative must show proof of citizen engagement.
  • The initiative must involve informing beneficiaries and  stakeholders, enable users to contribute ideas, co-design solutions, and collaborate in the implementation of projects, thereby fostering a sense of ownership and shared responsibility.
  • The initiative must take into account the needs of disadvantaged, marginalised, and vulnerable populations to leave no one behind.
  • The initiative must incorporate gender mainstreaming.
  • The initiative must build and promote partnership & collaboration.

3.Transparency & Integrity & Accountability

The initiative must promote openness and accountability in its processes and/or service delivery. Mechanisms such as citizen feedback channels and public consultation modes must be available.
  • The initiative must have accessible information about policies, budgets and/or performance metrics, showing both quality, ethical and moral principles and values as an integral part of the institutional behaviour.


The initiative must include elements that extend beyond the period of the project implementation or delivery (i.e. after the planned and realised objectives and activities).

The initiative must include at least one pitch for new elements in the pipeline, to be advanced further in case the project is being rewarded.

  • The changes generated by the initiative must be shown to be sustainable and not likely to be reversed by future occurances.

5. Forward-looking & Innovative

The initiative must introduce future-oriented and new ways of working or delivering services in the public sector. The initiative must show the courage to break new ground to find innovative solutions to meet the changing needs, issues and challenges of citizens in todat’s environment.

The initiative must show evidence of putting new ideas into practice and -if applicable- of harnessing the latest technology (e.g. AI, data analytics) as a powerful enabler.

The initiative must have the potential to become a flagship example in the field.
  • The initiative should present new ideas and follow a future-oriented approach.
  • The initiative must use modern tools and contemporary solutions.
  • The initiative should be inventive in strategy, process, service design/delivery and/or system, considering future eventualities, scenarios and outcomes.
  • The initiative should show a leap of creativity in the practice of public administration that goes beyond current practices in place.

6. Visibility & Public Concern

Users must benefit from the added value of the initiative and see its advantages, hence it must be visible and distinctive (at least in the community of the users).

The issues that are tackled in the project must be of interest or importance to the community or the wider public.

  • The initiative must address a pressing need or solve a concern/issue (narrow or wider) in the community and thus have the potential for visibility. It reflects the collective interests, values and prioritites of the target group/users in question.

7. Transferability & Replicability

The initiative must be capable of replication in a different setting or context in the Western Balkans and beyond.

The application must include an explanation and demonstration of the key factors that ensured the success of the initiative and any lessons learnt from this process that can be transferred.

  • The initiative must be able to be disseminated as a best practice at state level and in the region.
  • The initiative must have the potential for universal appeal, replication and transfer.
  • The initiative must be able to be adopted to solve problems in similar organisations and in similar, extraordinary situations.
  • Documentation and building on (developing) the initiative.
  • The initiative must have identifiable ‘learning points’ with key examples for improvement in other places and fields.

Four-step Evaluation & Selection Process after eligibility check

The International Jury is composed of ReSPA representatives or/and ReSPA-selected independent experts and OECD/SIGMA representatives or/and experts appointed by them.

If you have any questions related to the rules of the contest, eligibility and other requirements or have any difficulties with the online registration and application tool please contact:


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