Eligibility

Innovations in American Government Awards Eligibility

Charter Schools Initiative

Since its inception in 1985, Innovations in American Government Awards has identified and celebrated outstanding examples of creative problem solving at the state, city, town, county, tribal, and territorial government level. In 1995, the Innovations Awards were expanded to incorporate innovations in the federal government. The Awards program accepts applications in all policy areas; from training employees to juvenile justice, recycling to adult education, parks to the management of debt, public health to e-governance, Innovations applicants reflect the full scope of government activity.

All units of government – federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial – within the United States of America are eligible for consideration for the Innovations in American Government Awards under the following guidelines:

  • Programs or initiatives must be administered under the authority of one or more governmental entities
  • Programs or initiatives must have been implemented 12 months prior to the date of submission – e.g. for a 2014-2015 competition, the program must have been launched prior to June 1, 2013
  • Programs or initiatives must be currently in operation
  • Applications must be submitted by the governmental entity responsible for the innovation; nonprofit, private sector, and union initiatives are eligible only with significant governmental involvement and oversight

While Innovations in American Government Awards encompasses all levels of American government, it focuses primarily on domestic programs. Innovations that arise within defense and international agencies are eligible if they have significant domestic policy content (such as job training, base conversion, procurement reform, energy conservation, or environmental protection). Weapons systems will not be considered.

Bright Ideas Eligibility

In order to shine a light on a greater number of noteworthy government programs and practices, in 2010 the Innovations program launched the new initiative Bright Ideas, which will serve to further recognize and promote creative government initiatives and partnerships so that government leaders, public servants, and other individuals can learn about notable ideas and adopt those initiatives that work in their own communities. To be considered as a Bright Idea, a program:

  • Must be administered and/or authorized by one or more governmental entities; nonprofit, private sector, and union initiatives are eligible with a government partner
  • Programs or initiatives must be currently in operation, or in the process of being launched
  • Programs or initiatives should have sufficient operational resources (i.e. not seeking grant funding)
  • Must agree to the Innovations Program's privacy policy

Please note that only programs that meet all eligibility requirements will be considered for inclusion in the Innovations in American Government Awards competition. Programs that do not meet all eligibility requirements will only be considered for inclusion in the Bright Ideas collection.