Selection Process

All sectors of society

Innovative solutions can be nominated in 4 different groups, based on the background of the nominated project:

  • Sector

    Civil Society

    The Zero Project engages with autonomous associations independent of the state, in order to identify grassroot approaches that are inclusive, accessible, and remove barriers for all.

  • Sector

    Business & Entrepreneurship

    The Zero Project also believes in the power and scale of startups, SME’s, and corporations that remove barriers for all.

  • Sector

    Public Services

    The Zero Project engages with cities, government, municipalities, and international organizations, underlining that permanent change can only come with full political backing and buy-in.

  • Sector

    Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

    The Zero Project acknowledges the responsibility of the ICT sector to allow the impact of technology to be one that is inclusive – not exclusive – and removes barriers for all.

From Nominations to Awardees in 5 steps

The Nomination and Selection Process is a multi-step process that involves thousands of people worldwide - the entire Zero Project Team and many members of the global Zero Project Network.

The 5 steps or stages of the process unfold between May and December every year, kicking off with the call for nominations - #ZeroCall - and concluding with the Awardee Announcement on December 3, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

1 - ZeroCall, a global call for nominations

ZeroCall opens in May every year, when the nomination platform is opened online. At the same time, criteria for nomination and selection are published on

By the beginning of July, the Call for Nominations is closed.

Between 2013 and 2021, a total number of 2,806 nominations have been submitted during #ZeroCall.

If you would like to get notified for the next #ZeroCall, register your email address right here:

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2 - Screening of nominations against formal criteria

In an initial review, the Zero Project Team and Partners identify those projects that meet this year´s criteria and all other formal criteria. All Nominations must be innovative, impactful and scalable.

Criteria also include various other factors, for instance whether actual work on the ground has taken place, or if there is a continuation plan for projects with a scheduled end date.


3 - Peer-review with more than 100 experts

During the peer-review, the Zero Project Team engages with more than 100 members of the Zero Project Network, who are experts in the respective topics.

It is their assessment and recommendations that inform the Zero Project Shortlist.


4 - Shortlist Announcement

In August every year, the Zero Project publishes the shortlist of Innovative Practices and Policies.

Shortlisted Solutions receive the Zero Project Shortlist Badge, certifying their achievement of reaching the Shortlist Stage. Moreover, all of them will receive an exclusive invitation to the annual Zero Project Conference, which is hosted at the United Nations Office in Vienna and livestreamed to the general public via YouTube.



5 - Awardee Announcement following an extensive vote

The final step is an extensive vote to select the Zero Project Awardees among all shortlisted innovations.

In the voting process, hundreds of experts with and without disabilities from all around the globe are asked to give their vote on those nominations that they find most powerful.

Finally, the Zero Project Teams fact-checks all information provided by the Awardees and creates the Zero Project Factsheets.

On December 3rd, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the Zero Project Awardees are publicly announced across all communication channels.

Discover Zero Project Awardees