Sharjah International Award for Refugee Advocacy and Support

The Award may be bestowed upon an organization operating in the Middle East, Africa and Asia regions (as defined under UNHCR’s terminology) for outstanding work on behalf of the forcibly displaced. Organizations can either self-nominate or be nominated by other individuals or organizations.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible, organizations must:

  • Nominees must be organizations NOT individuals.
  • Nominees must be established, nongovernmental, non-profitable organizations that contribute toward refugee support.
  • Nominees office/s must be working within the Middle East, Asia, or Africa regions.
  • Nominees must be legally established and engaged in social and humanitarian initiatives for at least two years before the nomination.
  • Nominees must have their own audited financial statements for at least one year.
  • Nominees must have expenditures less than $1,000,000 USD in their most recent audited fiscal year of operation.
  • Nominees should declare alignment of their values and conduct with the principles upheld by TBHF and UNHCR. As detailed below:
    1. The organization must refrain from participating in the creation, production, trade, or distribution of weaponry, including components of land mines.
    2. The organization must uphold and respect the rights outlined in the Convention on the UN Rights of the Child, refraining from any practices inconsistent with these rights.
    3. The organization should not violate sanctions put forth by the United Nations Security Council.
    4. The organization should not be involved in the cultivation or production of tobacco or tobacco-related items.
    5. The organization shall avoid actions that could adversely impact TBHF, UNHCR, the United Nations, or run counter to the objectives and goals of the United Nations, including UNHCR’s mandate to protect persons in need.
    6. The organization shall implement all necessary measures to prevent any instance of sexual exploitation or abuse by its employees or individuals affiliated with the organization.

Evaluation Criteria

The nominees Evaluation Criteria will be as follows:

  • Impact of their work in demonstrating tangible benefits from their efforts within refugee and displaced people.
  • The significance of the gaps that the organization addresses, especially in emergency and challenging situations.
  • Demonstrated track record of accomplishments in providing significant contributions to finding solutions.
  • Ensuring gender sensitivity throughout the planning, execution, and outcomes of their projects.
  • Presentation of a compelling programmatic approach aimed at creating a lasting and impact.
  • The potential impact of the award on the organization and the focal issues it addresses.

Selection Process

  • The selection process involves cooperation between The Big Heart Foundation, The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and a panel of guest members spanning diverse sectors, such as academia, humanitarian work, philanthropy, and the private sphere.
  • The selection process encompasses multiple stages of expert consultation, analysis, and auditing, including reference calls, security checks, and on-site visitations.
  • Information pertaining to the selection process, including the specifics about the winner and finalists, is treated as confidential. This information remains undisclosed to both applicants and the general public.


For any further inquiries, kindly visit FAQs or contact TBHF team  on