The Innovations in American Government Awards program is a significant force in recognizing and promoting excellence and creativity in the public sector. Through its awards competition, the program provides concrete evidence that government can work to improve the quality of life for citizens and that it deserves greater public trust.

Many award-winning programs have been replicated across jurisdictions and policy areas, and some have served as harbingers of today's reform strategies or as forerunners to state and federal legislation. By highlighting exemplary models of innovations in government, the program serves as a catalyst for continued progress in addressing the nation's most pressing public concerns.

Winners of the Innovations Award receive national press attention, serve as examples of model programs worthy of replication, and spark research and teaching cases at Harvard University and other schools across the country.

In January 2010, the program launched the Bright Ideas initiative to further recognize innovative pilot programs and promising practices.