REACH Awards is now Open for Applications

Deadline: 12 July 2019

The biennial Recognizing Excellence Around Champions of Health (REACH) Awards recognize those who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership and commitment in the field of disease elimination.

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From boots-on-the-ground innovators to local community health workers, the REACH Awards aim to celebrate critical contributions from those on the front lines of disease elimination.

The awards underscore the belief of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, that no one should suffer from preventable diseases and that the ability of people to live a healthy life is a key driver of development, which leads to stable, prosperous societies.

Award Categories

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  • Unsung Hero Award
  • Game-changing Innovator Award
  • Rising Champion Award


  • Unsung Hero Award: The Unsung Hero Award aims to honor and celebrate an extraordinary individual who has played a transformative, frontline role in the field of disease elimination, and has been under-recognized for his or her efforts until this point.
    • Criteria: Candidates should demonstrate a strong personal commitment in the area of disease elimination and will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
      • Dedication: Demonstrated an extraordinary commitment toward disease elimination and to the health of the local community. This could be demonstrated through (but may not be limited to) the following:
        • Outstanding contribution to reach the last mile
        • Enduring a hardship for the benefit of the cause
        • A long history of consistently stellar performance and outcomes throughout their professional career
      • Sustainability: Showcased the long-term sustainability of their work (e.g. training others, enacting systems or processes, inspiring long-lasting change in area of work)
      • Impact: Improved the health and welfare of individuals in their low-income community/country in a measurable way
      • Location: Must be based in an endemic country and working with local communities.
  • Game-changing Innovator Award: The Game Changing Innovator Award recognizes an individual who has developed and implemented a creative technology or practice in support of disease elimination that has benefitted low-income communities. Innovators may have developed a new technology or product, implemented a new delivery method or process or a new strategy that serves as a social innovation within a community. The solutions must be in mid- to late-stage development in order to show some evidence of impact.
    • Criteria: Candidates should demonstrate a strong personal commitment in the area of disease elimination and will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
      • Problem-solving: Addresses an unmet challenge to disease elimination through a new product or more efficient service delivery of health services.
      • Inventiveness: Showcases out-of-the-box and cutting-edge thinking that diverges or is novel from efforts or tools currently in use. Impact: Innovators must be able to explain their theory of change and demonstrate how their work was made a significant and tangible impact over time. Depending on the type of innovation, this may entail: Improving upon existing solutions with a new product Supporting and empowering people to enact behavioral changes Addressing a service delivery problem (e.g. improved efficiency, effectiveness or cost effectiveness)
      • Scalability: Innovations are realistic and can be replicated and scaled up to have a far-reaching impact
      • Sustainability: Must be able to demonstrate how innovation could be implemented and maintained over a long period of time.
  • Rising Champion Award: The Rising Champion Award celebrates an individual who is championing a cause related to disease elimination. Nominees should be focused on influencing health policy within their respective country through advocacy activities. Examples of activities include: traditional media (news) and social media campaigns, grassroots organizing, outreach to policymakers, organizing events or fundraising
    • Criteria: Candidates should demonstrate a strong personal commitment in the area of disease elimination and will be evaluated based on the following criteria: Reach: Developed a far-reaching campaign engaging multiple stakeholders and across a certain geographic region.
      • Reach: Developed a far-reaching campaign engaging multiple stakeholders and across a certain geographic region.
      • Creativity: Has included creative strategies and activities in the campaign that diverge from previous approaches.
      • Leadership: Has inspired others (grassroots advocates, NGOs, non-profits, policymakers, etc.) to take action on disease elimination as a direct result of his or her actions.
      • Impact: Individual’s actions have had a measurable impact in the field of disease elimination (e.g. policy change, written or spoken commitments from key leaders, increased funding for an issue, etc.)
      • Continuity: Shows potential for continuation for further impact with promising new ideas, initiatives or campaigns yet to be rolled out. Representation: Preference will be given to young leaders (under age 35).

Eligibility Criteria

  • Nominees must be individuals and will be accepted from organizations in any part of the world, including non-profit organizations, for-profit organizations, international organizations, government agencies and academic institutions.
  • Nominees may be any age, but preference will be given to young leaders (under age 35) for the Rising Champion Award.
  • A nominator may submit more than one nomination in one or more of the award categories
  • During the application process, nominators, nominees and evaluators will be required to confirm that they have read and understand the 2019 REACH awards statutes, and acknowledge that any information submitted will be subject to and handled in accordance with such provisions.
  • Each nominee may only be considered for one (1) award category.
  • No person can nominate herself/himself for the REACH Awards
  • Nominees must be working in the field of human disease elimination in low-income settings but may come from any sector (civil society, academia, private sector, medicine, etc.) This may include efforts to eliminate transmission or eliminate a disease as a public health threat.
    • Elimination of transmission entails reduction to zero of the incidence of infection caused by a specific pathogen in a defined geographical area, with minimal risk of reintroduction, as a result of deliberate efforts; continued actions to prevent re-establishment of transmission may be required.
    • Elimination as a public health problem encompasses both infection and disease. It is defined by achievement of measurable global targets set by WHO in relation to a specific disease. When reached, continued actions are required to maintain the targets and/or to advance the interruption of transmission.
    • Eligible disease areas may include but are not limited to: poliomyelitis, Neglected Tropical Diseases, Malaria, Tuberculosis and pandemics (e.g. Ebola, SARS, Zika).
  • Nominees must be able to travel to the UAE in November 2019 for the Reaching the Last Mile Forum.
  • The Crown Prince Court’s decision on applicant eligibility is final.

Application Requirements

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  • Application materials should directly connect the nominee’s work with the purpose and criteria of the relevant award category.
  • Application materials should be written in clear English or French language with little jargon, suitable for a general audience familiar with broad global health concepts.

How to Apply

All nominations must be submitted through the REACH Awards online portal.

For more information, please visit

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