2019 Award Theme: Economic Opportunity

Innovations in American Government Awards Seal

Nominations for the 2019 Innovations in American Government Award are now closed. Please email innovations@harvard.edu with any questions.

In 2019, the Innovations in American Government Award seeks programs working to create economic opportunity for all in their communities. We are looking for initiatives that make government more efficient, more creative, more effective, and most importantly, more responsive to the needs of all.

In order to be eligible to apply, programs must be designed to achieve at least one of the following goals:

  • Create economic opportunities that generate income and contribute to upward mobility, particularly in underserved populations
  • Provide tools to allow individuals to break down barriers to wealth creation, entrepreneurship, and social mobility, e.g. by expanding access to public or social safety net services
  • Develop a workforce to meet the needs of the 21st century economy
  • Address systematic inequalities that create or preserve stratification, particularly in education, housing/homeownership, and access to finance
  • Demonstrate proven outcomes on employment rates, median wages, intra-generational wealth growth, educational completion, standard of living, productivity, poverty rates, etc.

All units of government—federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial—within the United States and their partners are eligible to apply.

Applicants will be judged on the standard Innovations in American Government Awards criteria of novelty, effectiveness, significance, and transferability, as well as the impact of the innovation on inequality in their target population. This impact could be demonstrated, for example, by:

  • Number of people reached
  • Centrality of creating economic opportunity to mission of program/initiative/policy or how these considerations shaped public policy
  • Quantitative and/or qualitative evidence of outcomes
  • Engaging people from all parts of a community

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