EPSA 2023-24

Call for Applications

Does your public sector organisation have innovative solutions to high-priority challenges of the present or the future?

If so, submit your achievement to the European Public Sector Award (EPSA), the only Europe-wide award for public sector innovation and reform open to public administrations at all levels of government.

Under the title “Boosting Innovation Through Learning”, the EPSA 2023-24 edition welcomes the submission of projects in three award categories:

  • Innovation in Public Administration
  • Green Transition and Sustainability
  • Digital Transformation

By submitting your project, you will have the opportunity to showcase your solutions to current and future challenges and gain the recognition of citizens and public sector partners.

Present your achievements to EPSA 2023-24 and join the community of innovators and change agents in Europe. Be the change that Europe needs and help others learn from your success!

Submit your project online by clicking on the “Submit your application here” button.

Everything you need to know to prepare your submission is provided below.

All European public sector entities from all levels of government, public sector enterprises and agencies are eligible to submit their projects for the award.

European” is defined as EU Member States, EEA countries, EU candidate countries and other administrations wholly geographically located in Europe, i.e. Andorra, Belarus, Kosovo, Monaco, San Marino, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and Vatican City.

Public sector” includes all public entities such as EU institutions, departments, divisions or agencies of EU institutions, national governments, national government departments, divisions or agencies, 100% state-owned enterprises, cities, regions, provinces and other forms of sub-national authorities as well as departments, divisions or agencies of them or enterprises 100% owned by them including institutions responsible for scrutiny of public sector entities such as regulatory, audit or judicial authorities.

Projects can be submitted jointly by more than one organisation, including cross-country applications, but in these cases a lead organisation must be assigned. In case of joint applications, decide who will submit the application. The lead organisation must be a public sector entity –  other applicants can be other public sector entities eligible to be lead organisations and/or private or mixed-capital entities, not-for-profit/third sector organisations or academic institutions.

Previous EPSA participants may re-submit projects submitted to earlier EPSA editions insofar as they are based on a material adaptation, update and/or extension of past projects, including the achievement of significant further results since any previous submission.

To submit your project, complete the online application form.

You can find the application guide below:

Applications for EPSA 2023-24 must be submitted in English.

To facilitate the project submission, you are invited to compile the information for the application form in any official EU language as well as Serbo-Croatian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Turkish and Ukrainian and to use the European Commission’s Machine Translation system eTranslation” to convert this information into English. The English text can then be inserted into the application form.

Please be advised that the system provides machine translation and that applications should be proof-read before submission. The initial eligibility check of submitted projects will include a language check.

The call for applications is open until 01 November 2023, 00:00 hours (CET).

  1. Confirm eligibility to apply

All European public sector entities from all levels of government and public sector enterprises and agencies are eligible to submit their projects for the award. In case of joint submissions, the lead applicant must be a public sector entity.

Projects which receive EU Funds are asked to indicate this in the application form, but this is not a condition of eligibility.

  1. Decide what project(s) to submit

Applicant entities may submit more than one project for EPSA 2023-24, but any project can only be submitted for one of the three award categories.

In considering which projects to submit, applicants should consider how the selected projects are likely to perform in each evaluation criterion, and, in particular, the innovation and impact/results criteria. It should be considered that a project will need to have been in operation long enough to present tangible results and/or demonstrate evidence of having improved service delivery to the benefit of citizens.

  1. Decide who will submit the application

While the lead applicant must be a public sector entity, applications can be submitted jointly with other entities, including with other entities defined above as being eligible to be lead applicants, and/or other applicants such as private or mixed-capital entities, not-for-profit/third sector organisations or academic institutions.

  1. Decide for which award category an application will be submitted

Applications for EPSA 2023-24 may be submitted for any of the three award categories. The choice of category is for the applicant to decide – a project can only be submitted for one of the three categories, and the choice should be indicated on the application form.

  1. Complete and submit application

To submit your project, complete the online application form following the instructions in the application guide.

The EPSA 2023-24 evaluation process entails four stages:

  1. Online evaluation

Following the initial eligibility check by EIPA, all eligible projects will be distributed to external experts for the first evaluation. Each project will be assessed by two evaluators independently, based on the application form and against the six evaluation criteria:

  • Relevance: e.g., evidence of the particular needs and constraints of the context, the core needs of target groups and final beneficiaries and how the actions address those needs.
  • Innovation: e.g., evidence of the novelty of the solution, the degree to which the case shows a leap of creativity in the practice of public administration and demonstrates a different approach that goes beyond what was previously applied and how this results from a learning, innovation and self-improvement culture within the entity; adaptation/evolution of pre-existing innovative solutions by other entities and/or within the entity as the result of a process of initial innovation, monitoring and continuing improvement.
  • Stakeholder engagement: e.g., evidence of citizen, business and civil society cooperation and/or response to the consultation, evidence of intelligent engagement with external and/or internal stakeholders that can influence the design and production of services and of intelligent partnership and governance models; innovative methods of stakeholder engagement and co-creation, user-centric innovation, openness and transparency.
  • Impact/results: e.g., evidence of achievement of planned objectives and activities by an illustration of proven evidence of benefits, visible impact/tangible results of improving efficiency and/or effectiveness (which may be based on demonstrably high levels of achievement or achievement of significant improvements from a low base); methods of monitoring impact through quantitative (e.g. performance standards, benchmarks) and/or qualitative instruments (e.g. stakeholder consultation).
  • Sustainability: e.g., evidence of how the case shows elements that allow it to be sustained beyond an initial period, including considerations of financial and operational sustainability and of senior administrative level support/political support; measures implemented to ensure the sustainability of disruptive/radical solutions by institutionalizing innovation.
  • Transferability: e.g., evidence of how the case has potential value and lessons which are relevant to other entities because it provides the potential for successful replication in or adaptation to other contexts (e.g. different Member States and levels of government and peers).

The evaluators score projects on each evaluation criterion to develop the provisional ranking of projects in each award category.

  1. Consensus meeting

In the consensus meeting, all evaluators come together to review and discuss the provisional ranking. Based on this review, the evaluators collectively decide on the shortlisted projects in each award category. Moreover, Good Practice Certificates will be awarded.

  1. Validation visits

Following the consensus meeting, EIPA conducts visits to shortlisted applicants to validate and verify the results and recommendations of the previous two evaluation steps.

  1. Jury meeting

In the final step, applicants are invited to present their projects in an online jury meeting. Collectively, the jury decides on the winners of three award categories.

Award Ceremony

The winners, nominees and recipients of Good Practice Certificates will be invited to celebrate their achievements in an in-person Award Ceremony to be held in Maastricht, Netherlands in March 2024.

Knowledge sharing

The Award Ceremony kicks off the EPSA 2023-24 knowledge sharing activities, e.g. webinars, seminars and in-person workshops.

EPSA Experiences

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