Privacy Policy


Privacy Policy

Communicating and sharing information is easier today than ever because of the Internet. Through the Innovations in American Government Awards Program (the Innovations Program) and the Government Innovators Network (, the Ash Center for Democratic Government and Innovation (the Ash Center, “us”, “we”) at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University is helping to create a community of public-sector innovators and to facilitate the exchange of professional knowledge and information across all areas of government. With the greater ease of interaction that the Internet provides, understanding privacy rights is of the utmost importance.

This statement discloses the privacy practices of the Government Innovators Network site (“the Site,” of the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School. By accessing this site, creating a user account, or submitting comments, the user (“you”) acknowledges to have read and agreed to our Terms of Use and the following Privacy Policy.

Because this website wants to demonstrate its commitment to your privacy, it is taking steps to comply with accepted privacy standards. This document describes:

  1. Information that we collect that could help locate or personally identify you or a third party
  2. The organization collecting the information
  3. How the information collected is used
  4. With whom the information may be shared
  5. How you may remove your information or opt out of certain services
  6. The kind of security procedures that are in place to protect against loss, misuse, or alteration of information under Ash Center control
  7. How you can correct any inaccuracies in the information

Information Collection and Use

The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation is currently the sole owner of the information collected on this site. We will not sell, share, or rent this information to others in ways different from what is disclosed in this statement. We do reserve the right to release information you have submitted where such release is required by law. In order to be considered as a candidate for the Innovations in American Government Awards competition, or to have your program considered for inclusion in our open collection of Bright Ideas, we require the submission of primary contact information such as your name, address, phone number, fax, e-mail address, and Web site. In addition, the online application requires the completion of three essay questions describing the applying program or initiative.

The information you submit is used to evaluate your program or initiative for inclusion in the Bright Ideas open collection, and for advancement in the Innovations in American Government Award competition.

Registered users may comment on innovations, select favorites, submit events, and select topic area interests in order to have a more customized experience. The Innovations in American Government Awards and Bright Ideas are designed to inform public officials about creative and promising practices in United States government. Through the Government Innovators Network online portal, the Ash Center provides a public forum within which these practices may be discussed by academics, practitioners, and the general public. Should a program be selected as a Semifinalist, Top 25, Finalist, or Winner of the Innovations in American Government Award, or for inclusion in the Bright Ideas database, primary contact information and any or all of the information included in the essays may be shared with researchers, edited and /or posted for public view on any or all of the Ash Center’s Web sites and may be used for marketing activities of the Ash Center and the Innovations Program.

Your submission of an application constitutes consent to this use.


In order to use certain features of this Web site, you must first create a new user account. During registration you are required to create a user name and password, and to provide personalized contact information (such as a name and e-mail address). This information may be used to contact a user for updates and services.

The Ash Center will not disclose user name and password information to anyone except the primary contact who created the application and can provide verification information. Because of the public nature of our program, you should exercise caution when deciding to disclose any personal or confidential information. We encourage users to provide official address, telephone, and e-mail information, and to avoid using home or personal e-mail addresses.

You agree that any information you submit to us through the Site may be used for evaluation and promotional purposes. By creating a user account and submitting application materials, you also acknowledge that you have the authority to submit such information on behalf of the particular program or initiative.

Your creation of a user account constitutes consent to this use.


A cookie is a piece of data stored on the user’s hard drive containing information about the user. Usage of a cookie is in no way linked to any personally identifiable information while on our site. Once the user closes their browser, the cookie simply terminates. For instance, by setting a cookie on our site, the user would not have to log in a password more than once, thereby saving time while on our site. If a user rejects the cookie, they may still use our site. The only drawback to this is that the user will be limited in some areas of our site. Cookies can also enable us to track and target the interests of our users to enhance the experience on our site.

Log Files

We use internet protocol addresses to analyze trends, administer the Site, track users’ movements, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Newsletters and Updates

Applicants that create a user account on the Innovations in American Government Awards site consent to receive communications from us. We may automatically subscribe users of this site to receive updates, newsletters, and other communications from the Innovations in American Government Awards, the Government Innovators Network, the Ash Center, or the Harvard Kennedy School. A user may opt out of receiving such communications by following the instructions included on the newsletter or update, or by emailing


The Innovations Program accepts nominations for potential applicants to the Innovations in American Government competition. To notify nominees, we collect a name and e-mail address for both the nominee and nominator. This information is retained only for notification and tracking purposes and is separate from the Innovations Program user database. Nominees and Nominators are not automatically subscribed to program communications.

Discussion Forums and Commenting

The Ash Center’s Government Innovators Network includes a public forum component where ideas may be shared, debated, and otherwise discussed.

You acknowledge that by providing application materials to the Site, the Ash Center and Innovations Program may encourage an active discussion concerning the subject matter of your program or initiative.

The Ash Center will not and cannot review all communications and materials posted to or created by users accessing the Site and is not in any manner responsible for the content of these communications and materials. The Ash Center is not undertaking any obligation or liability relating to any contents or activities on the Site. However, the Ash Center reserves the right to block or remove communications or materials that it determines to be (a) abusive, defamatory, or obscene; (b) fraudulent, deceptive, or misleading; (c) in violation of a copyright, trademark or other intellectual property right of another; or (d) violates any law or regulation; or (e) offensive or otherwise unacceptable to the Ash Center at its sole discretion.


We will share aggregated demographic information with our partners. This is not linked to any personal information that can identify any individual person. We may work with other organizations to provide specific services. When the user signs up for these specific services, we will share names or other contact information that is necessary for the third party to provide these services. These organizations, however, are not allowed to use personally identifiable information except for the purpose of providing these services.

Special Offers and Updates

We send all new users a welcome e-mail to confirm a new account. Registered users will occasionally receive updates on the Innovations in American Government Awards process, information on events, special services, and newsletters. The Ash Center will not sell contact information to a third party for the purposes of sales and marketing. We may, however, share contact information with other organizations with or outside of Harvard for the dissemination of appropriate, non-commercial information (executive education opportunities, and additional award opportunities). Out of respect for the privacy of our users, we present the option to be removed from such lists. Please see our choice and opt out information below.

User Feedback and Surveys

Occasionally the Innovations Program requests information from users via surveys. Participation in these surveys is completely voluntary. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and address), and demographic information (such as zip code and age level). Contact information will be used to notify survey participants. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the users’ satisfaction with the application site and the Innovations Award application process.

Supplemental Information

In order for this Web site to properly fulfill our obligation to users, we may obtain supplemental information from third parties.

For this Web site to enhance its ability to tailor the Site to an individual user’s preference, we may combine information about the habits of users with similar information from our partners to create a personalized user profile.

Correction/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes, or if a user no longer desires our service, we will provide means to correct, update, or remove that user’s personal data provided to us.

The My Summary section of the Site allows you to access and edit your registration profile at any time. To delete a profile permanently, please e-mail

Choice/Opt out

Our users are given the opportunity to opt-out of having their information used for purposes not directly related to the Innovations in American Government Awards Program. Users who no longer wish to receive our newsletter or promotional materials from our partners may opt-out of receiving these communications by e-mailing us at Please include “OPT-OUT” in the subject line.

Users who no longer wish to have their user account or application included within our database can also contact us at Please include “DATABASE REMOVAL” in the subject line. Such a request will result in permanent removal from the Innovations in American Government Awards process and competition.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Privacy Policy, we will post those changes to our Web site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an e-mail. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the Privacy Policy under which the information was collected.

If you feel that this company is not abiding by its posted Privacy Policy or if you have any questions regarding privacy not covered in this policy, please contact us at (800) 722-0074 or