Guidelines for Proposals

The following guidelines are for anyone wishing to propose a candidate for the Right Livelihood Award. Prospective proposers who have not had previous contact with the Foundation are advised to contact the Foundation with brief information before making a formal submission.

Who can be proposed for a Right Livelihood Award?

Anyone - except Right Livelihood Award Jury and staff members - can propose anyone (individuals or organisations), except themselves, close relatives or their own organisations to be considered for a Right Livelihood Award. The Right Livelihood Award Foundation reserves the right to refuse clearly unsuitable proposals.

Normally, the Foundation makes three Cash Awards and one Honorary Award each year. The Cash Awards are intended for work in progress or the extension of existing activities; they are never given for personal use.

At the sole discretion of the Jury, an unsuccessful candidate may be held over for consideration in the following year. Otherwise an unsuccessful candidate can be proposed again after three years, if there is substantial new work to report.

In order to avoid confusion with our Award recipients, we have a strict rule that proposals cannot be publicised. Infringement of this rule will make a candidate liable to disqualification.

How to write a proposal for a Right Livelihood Award:

Proposals, preferably written in English, need to be submitted both electronically as a word document (not pdf) to research [@] and as a paper copy via regular mail to our office in Geneva. Please send only one copy, preferably printed double-sided. If possible, use encrypted emails (more information in the box to the right).

A proposal consists of the answers to the following questions by the proposer and the candidate. It will greatly facilitate the processing of information if it is numbered to correspond with the questions.

For a proposal to be valid for the current year, the proposer should send in his answers by March 1. Any proposals received after this date will normally be held for consideration in the following year.

Note! When a proposer chooses not to contact the candidate, please make sure to send in the proposal in good time before the deadline so that the candidate HAS time to properly reply to the questions.

From the Proposer:

The proposer should be someone who knows the proposed person/organisation well, is familiar with their aims and goals and can vouch for their bona fides. A proposer can propose no more than one new candidate in any one year. The proposer may consult the candidate in advance but may also choose to be anonymous.

1. Full address, e-mail, phone and fax (if available) of self and proposed candidate.

2. Nature and length of relationship with the candidate, mentioning professional, financial or political links, if any.

3. The proposer's expertise relevant to this proposal, mentioning his/her occupation.

4. Indication, with brief reasons, of whether the proposal is intended for a Cash or Honorary Award. The Honorary Award is for candidates whose primary need is not cash support but who would benefit from the considerable recognition and publicity, which a Right Livelihood Award generates.

5. A brief summary (no more than 200 words) of the candidate’s work. This paragraph will be the first information our jury receives about the candidate.

6. A statement setting out in more detail the reasons for the proposal and the candidate's special qualifications for an Award.

7. An assurance that the candidate's work is sufficiently mature to justify a Right Livelihood Award. An Award is likely to generate enquiries, requests for visits etc., from people wanting to learn about the project. We do not expect candidates to have facilities for visitors or for dealing with large numbers of enquiries, but we do expect them to be ready and able to share their knowledge.

8. The Jury cannot make an Award in a particular area unless it has comparative knowledge of individuals/organisations engaged in similar work. Submission of such information by the proposer, where possible, is therefore very valuable.

9. Wherever possible, the names and contact details of two other qualified persons from different organisations who know the candidate well and who we could contact as references in case we have more questions. At least one of these, again where possible, should come from the candidate's country.

From the Candidate:

The following information is required from the proposed candidate. The candidate may submit this information jointly with the proposer. Otherwise, we will ask the candidate to submit this information after we have received a valid proposal.

1. A short history of your work/organisation including the duration of relevant activities, number of staff and volunteers. State full address, e-mail, phone and fax.

2. Biographical data on yourself/organisation's founders and current leaders, also indicating the date of birth.

3. Written material produced by or about your project/organisation. (Materials submitted cannot be returned. If you wish to submit publications, please send no more than one of each and not more than two different books. Generally, it is not possible for the Jury to view videos.)

4. Information about the financial situation of your work: Indicate your current budget and include copies of your most recent financial statements (balance sheet, profit & loss statement, and auditor’s statement), preferably for the past three years.

5. Names, addresses and contact persons of the main donors (if any) from which funding has been received in the past three years.

6. Details of any financial connection between officers/staff members and the government or a political party.

7. A commitment not to publicise the proposal on CVs, websites or in any other way. Please sign this commitment!

Thank you for your co-operation. We look forward to hearing from you.

Postal Address

Geneva office:
Right Livelihood Award Foundation
Maison de la Paix
Chemin Eugène-Rigot 2e, Building 5
1202 Geneva

research [@]

Secure communication

Privacy is important to us. We encourage you to use PGP email encryption when you contact the research team. You can download our public keys from a key server. Please make sure to verify the key ID listed below or on our staff pages. 

research [@]
(public key 95EDBB19)


Right Livelihood Award Foundation

Head office:
Stockholmsvägen 23
122 62 Enskede

Phone: +46 (0)8 70 20 340
Fax: +46 (0)8 70 20 338

Geneva office:
Maison de la Paix
Chemin Eugène-Rigot 2, Building 5
1202 Geneva

Phone: +41 (0)22 555 09 55