Minister Donohoe announces winners of the 8th Civil Service Excellence and Innovation Awards

31st March, 2023

The Civil Service Excellence and Innovation Awards were established in 2015 to recognise the achievements of civil servants and to highlight successful projects. It is an annual awards programme that celebrates the work of staff and is an opportunity to highlight innovations in policy and service delivery across the Civil Service where best practice and lessons can be shared for other projects.

The 8th awards were presented at a ceremony in St. Patrick’s Hall, Dublin Castle last night.

This year there were eleven award categories, aligned to reflect the Civil Service Renewal 2030 Strategy and 2024 Action Plan. Categories included: ‘Digital First’, which recognised digital and technological innovations used to improve systems and processes; ‘Excellence through Collaboration’, which recognised excellence through collaboration across multiple departments and sectors in the successful delivery of an initiative and ‘World Class Civil Service’ where teams have been a source of inspiration to other public administrations at home and abroad. In addition, a category recognising projects that involve action in relation to climate issues, with the aim of combatting climate change and its impacts, has been included.

There were eleven category winners and the awards were presented on the night by the Minister for Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD and the Secretary General of the Department of Education, Ms Bernie McNally.

Minister Donohoe said:

“The Civil Service Excellence and Innovation Awards continue to be a great way for us to acknowledge the hard work and celebrate the excellence and innovation of the shortlisted projects and the nominated teams.  

“As our country continues to face many challenges, we need to continue our collaborations, build on the lessons learned, become more creative and ambitious and challenge the status quo to deliver better outcomes for our citizens. 

“The plans as set out in Civil Service Renewal 2030 provide the building blocks to ensure we can meet current and future challenges. I hope that award finalists and their projects inspire civil service colleagues to keep giving their best to meet those challenges”.


The Awards were established under the Civil Service Renewal Plan 2014 and are a continued action under the Civil Service Renewal 2030 Strategy and its first three-year action plan the Civil Service Renewal 2024 Action Plan.

More information on the Renewal Programme is available here.

This year 90 nominations were received from across the Civil Service and 33 projects were shortlisted. There were 11 award-winning projects. The winning projects are:

Category 1: Digital First

Where digital and technological innovations have been used to improve systems, business or processes.

Winner: Future Tech Challenge Department of Public Expenditure NDP Delivery and Reform

Category 2: Embedding Innovation

Projects that demonstrate excellence in innovation by challenging the ‘old ways of doing things’ and making efforts to do something new.

Winner: North East Inner City Multi-Disciplinary Team – Department of Education

Category 3: Workforce of the Future

Projects that demonstrate excellence in terms of promoting people, skills and organisational development amongst staff.

Winner: Suite of 7 QQI Accredited Education Training Programmes for Frontline Roles in the Department of Social Protection – Department of Social Protection

Category 4: Workplace and Organisation of the Future

Organisations who demonstrate a culture of energy, connection and fulfilment, whereby staff feel positively engaged and connected to their work or project outcomes.

Winner: Oireachtas Work Learning (OWL) Training and Graduate Programme – Houses of the Oireachtas Services

Category 5: Strategic Policy Development

Projects or initiatives that bring different strands of policy together to make a real difference through excellence in policy formulation, design, consultation, implementation and evaluation.

Winner: Secretariat to the Commission on Taxation and Welfare: Support Strategic Policy Development – Department of Finance, Office of the Revenue Commissioners and Department of Social Protection

Category 6: Insights-driven Decision-making

Projects that demonstrate excellence in the fields of research, analytics and use of data, and where these are utilised to bring about increased insight and improvements to our citizens.

Winner: Data at the heart of Government: the establishment of a data-sharing framework for the Public Service – Office of the Government Chief Information Officer

Category 7: Leading Reform during a Crisis

Projects and initiatives that clearly advance the core objectives and values of Civil Service Reform during a crisis.

Winner: Ukraine Crisis Temporary Accommodation Team – Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth

Category 8: Excellence through Collaboration

Recognises excellence through collaboration across multiple departments, teams, agencies or sectors and this collaboration played a significant role in the success of an initiative.

Winner: DRCD Collaboration with Foróige on increasing social enterprise awareness amongst young people – Department of Rural and Community Development 

Category 9: Citizen Impact and Customer Service

Recognises initiatives where consideration of the customer has been central to the design and delivery of services, resulting in improved service provision, and in the quality of customer service.

Winner: Creating our Future: A national conversation on research in Ireland – Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science and Science Foundation Ireland

Category 10: World Class Civil Service

Recognises teams and projects that are a source of inspiration to other public administrations at home and abroad.

Winner: Co-ordination of Humanitarian Donations to Ukraine and medevac Operations – Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage

Category 11Climate Action

Recognises projects that involve action in relation to climate issues with the aim of combatting climate change and its impacts.

Winner: Climate Toolkit 4 business – Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment and Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications.