Annual Awards

Annual Awards on Display

The Annual Awards Program highlights the outstanding sister city programs all over the nation for their work in the previous year. 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.

There is no application fee to apply.

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. Up to five representatives attending the conference to accept their award receive discounted registration.

Award applications are open in the following categories: Best Overall, Innovation, Volunteer of the Year, and Youth Leadership.

To be considered for an award, all entries must be received by June 4, 2018. Please read the eligibility and rules and regulations before applying.

  • 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.
  • Submission Requirements
    • Please email your answers in a word document, along with photos, to awards@sistercities.org.
    • All entries must be received by June 4, 2018. Applications received after that date will not be accepted. No exceptions!
    • Please note that incomplete applications will not be accepted.
  • Evaluating Your Entry
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.

Award Application Categories

For any questions, email awards@sistercities.org.

  • Best Overall Awards
    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 less than 10,000
    • Population of 10,000 – 25,000
    • Population of 25,000 – 50,000
    • Population of 50,000 – 100,000
    • Population of 100,000 – 300,000
    • Population greater than 300,000
    Download Best Overall Application
  • Innovation Awards
    Innovation Awards are given out under five categories: Arts & Culture, Economic Development , Humanitarian Assistance, Technical & Professional Assistance, and Youth & Education. The Innovation Awards recognize the accomplishments of outstanding community and individual sister city programs that promote peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation and demonstrate community impact. Awards are presented in each category according to population size.

    • Population less than 25,000
    • Population between 25,000 – 100,000
    • Population greater than 100,000
    Download Innovation Application
  • Volunteer of the Year Award
    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 2019 Annual Conference in Houston, Texas.

    Download Volunteer of the Year Application
  • Youth Leadership Award
    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 2019 Youth Leadership Summit in Houston, Texas.

    Download Youth Leadership Application
2017 Annual Awards Winners accepting their award
Click on the dates below to see the Annual Awards Winners from previous years.

2017 2016 2015  2014 2013 2012
 2011  2010  2009  2008  2007

To view photos from the 2017 Annual Awards Dinner, click here.