COVID-19 EXTENSION: We are extending the submission period for the 2020-2021 Prize for Cities to July 7, 2020. Please read our full statement.

2020-2021 WRI ROSS CENTER PRIZE FOR CITIES – Terms and Conditions

The following are the Terms and Conditions issued by the World Resources Institute, 10 G Street NE, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20002, USA ("WRI"), for the WRI ROSS CENTER PRIZE FOR CITIES (the "Prize") which is awarded to an initiative or project resulting in transformative urban change (the “Project”).

By applying for the Prize, Applicant agrees to be bound by these terms and conditions. For purposes of these terms and conditions, Applicant shall include all individuals and organizations contributing to a Project.

1. The Project

The Project is a specific activity or programmatically linked set of activities in the city that have contributed to sustainable urban transformation. Programmatic linkages may be by design, for example being part of a common, documented strategy; by virtue of common financial support, common oversight, or shared implementation teams; or by documented commitment to shared goals. A Project could refer to a number of types of activities that fit into a range of categories, including social, technological, and/or institutional innovation, training or awareness raising activities, policy or regulatory reform, and infrastructure creation or modification.

2. The Prize

The Prize consists of five distinct monetary rewards and honorable designations that are awarded to five Projects selected by WRI (the “Finalists”) based on their contribution to sustainable urban transformation in their city. One Finalist will receive the grand prize (the “Winner”) who will receive an award of US$250,000. There will be four runners-up who will each receive an award in the amount of US$25,000. WRI will pay the reasonable travel expenses of up to two members of each Finalist Project to attend the award ceremony for the Prize.

3. Evaluation Criteria

Prizes will be awarded as follows:

  • (i) Five Finalists will be selected from all eligible Applicants based on an assessment by WRI’s evaluation team of the Projects that most fully embody the following:
    • a. The big idea, or the extent to which the project uses an innovative approach to solve an important urban problem;
    • b. The life-changing impact, or the extent to which the project has changed people’s lives, seen through change to the physical environment, institutional structures and routines, financial/money flows, behaviors and daily life, and perceptions and mental models; and
    • c. The ripple effects, or the extent to which the project has had impact beyond its boundaries, seen through change in local or national institutions, in other neighborhoods or areas of the city, or in other cities or geographies.
  • (ii) The Jury will select one Winner from the five Finalists through deliberation and voting based on the above criteria. The decisions by the Jury are final and not subject to review.

4. Eligibility

  • (a) All types of organizations/entities and individuals from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors are eligible to apply for the Prize. The Applicant may be a single organization or a group of organizations and individuals with at least one organization among the group. Applicants may submit one or more Projects for consideration, but each must be submitted separately and must meet the eligibility requirements.
  • (b) Submission may be for Projects anywhere in the world commenced after January 1, 2000, which meet the other criteria for eligibility.
  • (c) The following Projects are not eligible to apply:
    • (i) Projects that have been previously honored by WRI as Prize Finalists.
    • (ii) Projects that have received funding or technical assistance from WRI within the past ten years;
    • (iii) Projects whose contributors include one or more employees of WRI or its international offices;
    • (iv) Projects in which a contributor has been convicted of corruption or similar unethical criminal acts.
    Questions regarding eligibility may be referred to the WRI ethics committee described in Section 7.
  • (d) Each Applicant who is part of a Finalist Project team that is selected to receive a cash prize is subject to the following terms of eligibility:
    • (i) The Applicant must not include any individuals or organizations that are noted on the U.S. Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List as of October 2020. It must also not be an excluded entity as identified on the U.S. Government System for Award Management (SAM.gov) list as of October 2020.
    • (ii) Prior to being confirmed and publicly announced as a Finalist, each Applicant must provide written instructions for the distribution of the cash prize that Applicant would receive should they be selected by the Jury as a Finalist. An individual cannot be the sole recipient of the cash prize. All or a portion of each cash prize must be awarded to at least one organization. Upon request by WRI, the Applicant is required to produce a document, in a form reasonably acceptable to WRI, signed by an authorized representative of the Applicant. The Applicant must certify that all named contributors to the Project have agreed upon the distribution, and that there are no significant contributors to the Project that are not included in the listed submission. This step must take place before the Applicant can be confirmed and publicly announced. If the Applicant is unable to produce this documentation the Applicant shall be ineligible to continue in the competition.
  • (e) WRI will comply with all legal restrictions on foreign currency and gifts in the United States and in the Applicant’s home country. No commitment made over the course of the Prize shall supersede any legal restrictions in the United States, in the home country or countries of the entities and individuals included in the Applicant, or in relevant international laws.
  • (f) The individuals and organizations included as members of the Applicant are solely responsible for any taxes or levies due on the Prize amount in their home country.
  • (g) In the case that no member of the Applicant is permitted to receive all or a portion of the cash prize from a U.S. entity, WRI will seek reasonable and legal alternative means of paying the Prize amount or benefits of equivalent value to the Applicant. If WRI, in its sole discretion, determines there is no reasonable means of paying the Prize to the Applicant, the Applicant may designate an organization that meets the eligibility criteria as a substitute recipient, provided all members of the Applicant and WRI agree.

5. Responsibilities of the Applicant

  • (a) Submission phase. It is the responsibility of the Applicant to upload a fully completed submission to the Prize portal prior to the close of submissions at 11:59 PM Eastern Time on May 7, 2020. WRI reserves the right to reject any submissions that are not received before the close of submissions. All submissions will include the following at the time of submission:
    • (i) a confirmation of Applicant’s understanding of, and agreement to be bound by, these terms and conditions;
    • (ii) a representation that all information submitted at any time, orally or in writing in support of the submission is true and correct and is the original work of the Applicant;
    • (iii) A listing of all individuals and parties substantially responsible for initiating and implementing the Project. If more than one submission is received with respect to a Project, Applicants may be requested to combine their submissions. For each submission, Applicant shall designate the lead organization/entity with whom WRI will interact, as the lead organization in the submission to the Prize.
    • (iv) A description of every relationship or connection it or any member of the Applicant has with WRI. This includes but is not limited to relationships with any individual currently or previously employed by WRI. If any member of the Applicant has any relationship or connection with a WRI international office, the WRI international office cannot share in the Prize.
  • (b) Evaluation phase. The Applicant is expected to work collaboratively with the WRI team to supply additional information required for carrying out due diligence, including but not limited to documentary verification of eligibility and accuracy of the information submitted.
  • (c) Celebration phase. Each finalist is expected to collaborate in creating a video and other materials and to attend the award ceremony. WRI will reimburse the reasonable travel costs of up to two members from each of the Finalists to travel to the award ceremony.

6. Conflict of Interest

WRI, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to respond to potential conflicts of interests as it deems necessary or desirable. Potential conflicts of interests may arise if:

  • (a) A Project has received prior financial and/or technical assistance or consultancy from WRI. Under the responsibilities of the Applicant (see 5. Responsibilities of the Applicant), this relationship shall be disclosed at the time of submission.
  • (b) A Project or member of the Project team has a financial, familial or other relationship with WRI, a WRI international office, a WRI employee (current or former) or WRI Board member that could or could result in an unfair advantage; or
  • (c) A Project or member of the Project team has a relationship with a member of the Jury.

WRI may decide, at its sole discretion, that the relationship or connection a Project may have with WRI constitutes a conflict of interest and exclude the Project from continuing in the competition or take such other steps as WRI determines are appropriate. With respect to a potential conflict of interest involving a Jury member, WRI may, in its sole discretion, request that the Jury member recuse him or herself from deliberations and identify an alternate juror.

7. Ethics Committee

WRI will establish an ethics committee that is responsible for evaluating potential conflicts of interest or other eligibility questions and determining the steps to be taken with respect to such situations. Questions for the ethics committee may be sent to prizeforcities@wri.org with Ethics Committee in the subject line.

8. Indemnification

By applying, Applicants automatically agree to fully indemnify, defend, and hold WRI and its affiliates, and their respective directors, officers, employees, shareholders, partners, and agents, and the advisors and jurors (collectively the "WRI parties") harmless from and against any and all claims, losses, costs, and expenses (including attorneys' fees) incurred by any WRI party in connection with any Submissions, any dispute as to the authority of the applicant to submit the submission, and any dispute as to the entitlement of an organization/entity to all or any part of the Prize.

9. License

By applying, Applicant grants an irrevocable, royalty-free, nonexclusive license to WRI to use, disclose or make available to others any and all materials that are part of the submission. WRI and its sublicensees shall only use and disclose these in connection with (a) evaluation of the submission; (b) the promotion of the Prize; (c) the promotion of general messages relating to sustainable urban transformation; and (d) research projects, including published papers/reports and non-commercial collaborations with other organizations. Applicant represents that it has the right to grant this license.

10. Acts

If, subsequent to the grant of the Prize, any member of an Applicant is accused of corruption or other criminal acts, or is brought into public disrepute, as determined by WRI in its sole discretion, WRI shall have the right to withdraw any Prize from such Project. Upon written notice to the lead organization of such withdrawal, the lead organization and other members of the project team may no longer claim to have won the Prize and must remove all references to WRI and the Prize from its website and promotional and marketing materials and may not reference the Prize in interviews or press statements. Upon withdrawal, WRI will cease referring to the Project as a Winner or Finalist of the Prize, however, WRI will maintain the irrevocable license to the Submission granted above. If the Prize is withdrawn, the cash prize need not be returned.

11. General

WRI reserves the right to revise these terms and conditions as it, in its sole discretion, deems necessary or desirable.

12. Other

These terms and conditions shall be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of the District of Columbia, USA. By accepting these terms and conditions, Applicants agree that any action or proceeding between WRI and Applicant for any purpose concerning the Prize or these terms and conditions, or the parties' obligations hereunder shall be brought exclusively in a federal or state court of competent jurisdiction sitting in the District of Columbia, USA, and Applicants consent to the exclusive personal jurisdiction of these courts. The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of these terms and conditions, will not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision thereof.