#ZeroCall23 FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

All about submitting a nomination for #ZeroCall23

This FAQ section is divided into 5 key parts – please use the skip links below that are hyperlinked to jump directly to the section that is most relevant for you:

  1. About the topic – Independent Living & Political Participation, and ICT
  2. About nominating a solution
  3. About the selection criteria
  4. About the selection process
  5. About being a Zero Project Awardee

1. About the topic – Independent Living & Political Participation, and ICT

  • How do you define Independent Living & Political Participation, and ICT?

Our definitions are informed by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), as well as interdisciplinary research from around the world. On the #ZeroCall23 web page we have included clear examples of what to nominate and what not to nominate, since, it would fall outside of the scope of our research focus this year.

Please visit zeroproject.org/zerocall23 for a comprehensive list of all relevant definitions, examples and subtopics.

The Zero Project encourages nominations from all sectors of society – policy makers, startups, academia, civil society, businesses – and especially:

  • those relating to multiple or severe disabilities;
  • humanitarian action;
  • gender equality;
  • the arts;
  • sexual orientation;
  • psychosocial disabilities;
  • or other multiple disadvantaged groups.

2. About nominating a solution

  • What is the deadline for submitting my nomination?

The original deadline for the Call for Nominations was June 19, 2022. The deadline was then extended to July 3, 2022.

  • What do you understand by ‘solution’?

We encourage nominations from the business, civil, technology, academic, and public sectors.

Civil Society

The Zero Project understands Civil Society to comprise of National NGOs and/or Service Providers, International NGOs, Disabled persons'organizations (DPO), Social enterprises, Foundations, and Academia. A solution from this sector could be a product, program, project, or service that improves the lives of persons with disabilities.

Business Sector

The Business Sector comprises of startup companies, social businesses, small or medium sized companies, large national companies, and multinational corporations. We seek nominations from these partners for both products and services, as well as internal company programs.

Public Sector

New laws, acts, government orders or regulations, government services and programs, action plans/strategies/campaigns, the introduction of new standards or cross-sector collaboration to implement policies are all examples of solutions from the Public Sector. There may be other innovations driven by the public sector as well. This year we are especially interested in solutions or innovative policies that have fostered political participation for persons with disabilities.  

We also consider solutions/policies on an international/supranational level, on a country level or also regional level. Such a solution/policy would normally be initiated by a public sector body – for example a national or regional government, ministry, or public sector agency. Nominations from cities, municipalities, regions, or governments invested in political participation initiatives will also be considered. 

If you are a public sector agency looking to nominate an innovative technology solution, please use the innovative technology nomination form.

ICT

Moreover, we are looking for innovative solutions relating to ICT from all sectors, including public, social, business, or private. ICT nominations can relate to any of the Zero Project research topics: employment, accessibility, Independent Living & Political Participation, and education.

  • Are there limits with regards to size or duration of the solution?

No, however, as part of the selection process, we will take a close look at operational impact. Hence, recent solutions that do not have a measurable impact yet will not be considered for the shortlist.
In addition, solutions that were only started recently are likely to be discarded, because most of them cannot yet underline qualitative and quantitative data that highlights their impact.

Nominations that have existed for more than 10 years but have failed to grow or be replicated at all, are likely to be discarded by the experts during the selection process.

3. About the selection criteria

  • What are your criteria for selecting solutions?

The selection process will revolve around three key selection criteria for evaluating all nominations:

  • innovation;
  • impact;
  • and scalability.
  • What do you deem as innovative in your review process?

The nomination should be new to the target group/beneficiaries, but also to comparable target groups/beneficiaries. Thus, it will be considered innovative if a new solution is introduced to a low-income country, even if it already exists in high-income countries (especially when it involves new skills to transfer it or make it work there).

  • What do you deem as impactful in your review process?

The nomination should have measurable success in enabling Independent Living & Political Participation for persons with disabilities, and your nomination should be as clear as possible about its outcome/impact/results. The selection process will also take into account the impact development over the past three years.

Please note, that this has turned out to be the most important element of the selection process for our experts.

  • What do you deem as scalable in your review process?

Nominations should have the potential to be scalable and/or replicated. Our experts will discard nominations that present solutions that cannot be scaled or replicated abroad, due to technical, financial hurdles, or other barriers that would prevent scaling and replication.

Thus, what is most important here are the following points:

  • a comprehensive description of the solution (so that experts can judge if it is easy to scale);
  • facts about the framework that is required in its current environment in order to be replicated;
  • facts about prices and affordability of the solution when replicated or scaled up outside the current area.
  • What about the selection criteria for innovative policies?

Our main criteria are again innovation, impact and scalability. In terms of impact, it is most important that the nomination has created real improvements for persons with disabilities.

It is therefore important to know that the nominated policies:

  • are well designed and implemented;
  • have sufficient funding available to implement them;
  • and are accessible for all people with disabilities they are targeted at, including those living in rural areas, those living in institutions, those with severe disabilities, etc.

We prefer rights-based policies, where people with disabilities have been involved in all phases of policymaking.

  • In order to be shortlisted, what does my nomination need to highlight and show?

As part of the selection process, experts will have a close look at whether actual work on the ground has taken place. We cannot consider purely academic research, publications, declarations, pledges, or ideas about how to solve issues. Projects that are purely advertisement or advocacy campaigns are also not considered.

Projects must be operational. If they have a planned end date (like in some grant-funded projects), there must be a clear continuation plan.

Nominations that do not respect the Articles of the UN CRPD or general human rights principles (e.g. discriminating against ethnic or other minorities because of their religion, language etc.) will be discarded.

A minimum number of facts about the size, growth and outcome/impact have to be provided.

  • Can former Awardees nominate the same project again?

Yes, as long as the project has not been submitted within the past three years. In effect, an Accessibility Awardee from 2022 will only be able to nominate the same project in four years’ time in 2026 again. Overall, we encourage you not to re-submit the same nomination again; instead,you could point to improvements, new products, hardware, software, or projects that you have developed and/or evolved from the initial award.

4. About the selection process

  • What happens after submitting a nomination?

Once #ZeroCall23 closes on the new deadline of July 3, 2022, the selection process begins. It 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:

  • Screening of nominations against formal criteria

In an initial review, the Zero Project Team and select partners identify those solutions that meet this year´s criteria (outlined above in the FAQ) and all other formal criteria. All Nominations must be innovative, impactful and scalable.

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

  • Shortlist Announcement

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

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

5. About being a Zero Project Awardee

  • Which benefits would I receive as a Zero Project Awardees?

The Zero Project  has established itself as a key global stakeholder working to implement the full spectrum of the UN CRPD. In effect, it enjoys a high standing in various international circles.

The Zero Project Award is an internationally recognized Award, handed over in the premises of the United Nations in Vienna, and Awardees can consider themselves as thematic leader in their field.

Awardees receive access to the Zero Project Network, which includes 6,000 disability experts and leaders from renowned organizations, such as the UN, governments, the business sector, international funding agencies, foundations or globally active non-government organizations.

Awarded solutions will be published in the annual Zero Project Report, as well as promoted via different communication channels.

Awardees will have the opportunity to have an active role at the Zero Project Conference (an annual event in the premises of the United Nations in Vienna) which is a unique meeting point for innovators and changemakers.

Moreover, additional opportunities present themselves for Awardees that intend to scale internationally, or to replicate their solutions.

Good luck with your nomination!

Do you have any other questions?

Contact the Zero Project Team by Email