Since 1985, the Innovations in American Government Awards program has conducted a rigorous national competition leading to the selection of a select group of winners and finalists of the Innovations in American Government Award, and is the preeminent public-sector recognition program in the United States. The Innovations in American Government Award is designed to recognize excellence and creativity at all levels of government and gives $100,000 awards to disseminate innovative ideas so that they may become best practices. Since its inception, the Innovations program has received over 27,000 applications for its awards, and approximately 500 applicants have received grants, resulting in widespread replication of these initiatives in thousands of other sites throughout the United States and around the world.

The Innovations Awards model was found to be such an effective tool for identifying and disseminating innovative programs and policies that the Ford Foundation replicated the model worldwide. Beyond these members, who make up the Global Public Innovation Network, the Innovations in American Government Awards program has inspired many more award and recognition programs and has provided guidance to organizations interested in developing their own awards, prizes, and challenge programs.

The program works with partner organizations interested in focused areas of policy.  Policy awards have been successful in creating excitement around a particular topic area and then generating a collection of activities including a database of innovations, case studies, policy forums, and toolkits to disseminate successful innovations.

If you are interested in learning more about adapting or replicating an award model in your organization, jurisdiction, or country, please do not hesitate to contact us.