The Dóchas International Development Awards

The Dóchas Awards celebrate innovative and inspiring work by people and organisations in Ireland working for global justice. Dóchas members work to eradicate global poverty and inequality, from a shared belief that ordinary citizens can bring about real and positive change. We know that what we do works. But we also know that lasting solutions require broad alliances of organisations and people, working in tandem towards shared goals. Through Dóchas, Irish organisations come together to share experiences. We use those experiences to advance more effective ways to end all forms of poverty and injustice, and to inspire each other. 

There are two award categories: 

  • The Global Citizen of the Year recognises inspiring individuals working for global justice and celebrates those unsung heroes working to alleviate poverty and who strive for equality for all.

This year's winner is Colette Nkunda of Misean Cara. Find out more about Colette's story here: 

This award is proudly sponsored by 2into3 - Ireland's specialist advisors and capacity builders for the not-for-profit sector.

Colette is pictured here with Amy Power of 2into3.

  • Innovative Programme of the Year recognises innovative development programmes which are making a sustainable impact.

The winner of the Dóchas Award for Innovative Programme of the Year 2016 was Camara for their iMlango programme in Kenya. 

John Fitzsimons of Camara is pictured here with the Conor O'brien of Russell Brennan Keane, sponsors of the Innovative Programme of the Year Award 2016. 

Find out more about Camara's work and the iMlango programme here:

This year, as Ireland celebrates the centenary of the 1916 rising, the Dóchas Awards reflects and celebrates the proud tradition of Irish humanitarian efforts around the world over the past 100 years and the global impact made through overseas aid programmes and individuals. From missionaries to diplomats, aid workers, teachers, engineers, doctors, nurses, politicians, environmentalists, business people, artists and activists – just a few of the many ways people have worked at home and abroad in the fight for global justice.

2016 represents another significant milestone, for Ireland and for the world. In 2016 the world embarks on an ambitious plan to end extreme poverty and tackle climate change by the year 2030 through The Sustainable Development Goals. Ireland can be proud as a nation to have played a key role in reaching this momentous global agreement to end poverty worldwide.

The winners of these prestigious awards were announced at the 2016 Irish Summit on the Sustainable Development Goals in Croke Park on May 5th.

How to make a nomination:


See Terms and Conditions of the Awards.

Who is eligible to enter: 

·         Nominated individuals for the Dóchas Global Citizen of the Year Award should be currently actively engaged in an initiative in the area of global solidarity and/or sustainable development, resident in Ireland, and actively broadening the movement of people working for global justice. Applicants, if shortlisted, need to be able to attend Dóchas conference on the 5th of May 2016.

·         Nominated programmes for the Dóchas Innovative Programme of the Year Award must involve an existing member, associate member organisation or strategic partner of Dóchas, must be recent (initiated within the last five years) and represent an innovative approach to sustainably improving the lives of people in poor communities. 

Last year's Winners: 

Sharan Kelly, Chairperson of Dóchas, Vanina Trojan Dóchas award on behalf of Plan International Ireland, winner of the Innovative Programme of the Year; Breda Gahan of Concern Worldwide - winner of the Global Citizen of the Year 2015; Justin Kilcullen - former head of Trócaire and MC of the Dóchas Annual Conference in Croke Park May 7, 2016.

Featured in The Irish Times: The winners and nominees of the Dóchas Innovative Programme of the Year Awards 2015 were featured in The Irish Times. Click below to read the article:

Dóchas was proud to present the inaugural Global Citizen of the Year Award in 2015, which went to Breda Gahan of Concern Worldwide, who has dedicated her life to the fight against HIV/AIDS. Breda embodies the inspiring, relentless drive of a true Global Citizen. The Innovative Programme of the Year Award was awarded to Plan International Ireland for their programme "Promoting Universal Birth Registration (UBR) for Children’s Development and Protection" – a programme which has achieved sustainable and meaningful change. For more information on last year's winners and to see photographs see this Dóchas Award Winners Page.

You can also read some of the inspiring stories of last year's nominees for Global Citizen of the Year Award.


The Global Citizen of the Year Award is with thanks to the support of 2into3 'Ireland's specialist advisors and capacity builders for the not-for-profit sector.' For more information see


The Innovative Programme of the Year 2016 is with thanks to Russell Brennan Keane