Selection Criteria

Innovations in American Government Award Selection Criteria

Grassroots Conservation Program

Throughout the awards cycle for the Innovations in American Government Award, each applicant is evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Its novelty, the degree to which the program or initiative demonstrates a leap in creativity
    • Does the program or initiative represent a fundamental change in the governance, management, direction, or policy approach of a particular jurisdiction?
    • Does the program or initiative represent a significant improvement in the process by which a service is delivered?
    • Does the program or initiative introduce a substantially new technology or service concept?
  • Its effectiveness, the degree to which the program or initiative has achieved tangible results
    • Does the program or initiative respond to the needs of a well-defined group of clients?
    • Does the program or initiative demonstrate its effectiveness in meeting its stated goals and objectives quantitatively and qualitatively?
    • Does the program or initiative produce unanticipated benefits for its clients?
    • Does the program or initiative present evidence of already completed, independent evaluation?
  • Its significance, the degree to which the program or initiative successfully addresses an important problem of public concern
    • To what degree does the program or initiative address a problem of national import and scope?
    • To what degree does the program or initiative make substantial progress in diminishing the problem within its jurisdiction?
    • To what degree does the program or initiative change the organizational culture or the traditional approach to management or problem solving?
  • Its transferability, the degree to which the program or initiative, or aspects of it, shows promise of inspiring successful replication by other governmental entities
    • To what extent can this program or initiative be replicated in other jurisdictions?
    • To what extent can this program or initiative serve as a model that other jurisdictions will seek to replicate?
    • To what extent are program or initiative components, concepts, principles, or insights transferable to other disciplines or policy areas?

Bright Ideas Selection Criteria

The new Bright Ideas initiative is designed to provide government agencies and workers with examples of programs and ideas that may benefit their current work. To be considered as a Bright Idea, a program or initiative may meet some but not all of the above Innovations in American Government criteria. Best practices, new ideas, and pilot programs that may be smaller in scope or scale will be considered.

Please note that only those programs and partnerships that fully meet the Innovations eligibility requirements and best meet the selection criteria will advance in the Innovations in American Government Awards competition. Programs that are judged to meet some of the criteria may be included in the Bright Ideas collection.