Terms of Use


Terms of Use

Communicating and sharing information is easier today than ever, thanks to the Internet. Through the Innovations in American Government Awards Program (the Innovations Program) and the Government Innovators Network (www.innovations.harvard.edu), the Ash Center for Democratic Government and Innovation (the Ash Center, “us”, “we”) at Harvard Kennedy School is helping to create a community of government 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 Innovations in American Government Awards Program online application site (“the Site,” www.innovationsaward.harvard.edu) at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School. By accessing this site, and/or submitting an application for consideration, the user (“you”) acknowledges to have read and agreed to the following Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Because this Web site 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 that 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.

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.


Innovations in American Government Awards Application Site Management

The collection of data on www.innovationsaward.harvard.edu, including personal information, is managed by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School.

To learn more about the Ash Center, please visit www.ash.harvard.edu.


Discussion Forums

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.



This Web site may contain links to other Web sites. Please be aware that the Ash Center and the Innovations in American Government Awards Program do not review and are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites, except those operated by the Ash Center. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every Web site that collects personally identifiable information. This Terms of Use and Privacy Statement apply solely to information collected by this Web site.


Newsletters and Updates

Applicants for the Innovations in American Government Awards 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 innovations@harvard.edu.



This Web site takes commercially reasonable precautions, consistent with prevailing industry standards, to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the Web site, your information is protected, to the best of our ability, both online and off-line.

We do everything in our power to protect user information off-line. All of our users’ information is restricted in our offices. Only employees who need the information to perform a specific job (for example, the Site manager) are granted access to personally identifiable information. ALL employees are kept up-to-date on our security and privacy practices. Every quarter, as well as any time new policies are added, our employees are notified and/or reminded of the importance we place on privacy, and what they can do to ensure our users’ information is protected. Finally, the servers that we store personally identifiable information on are kept in a secure environment.

If you have any questions about the security at our Web site, you can send an e-mail to innovations@harvard.edu.


Site and Service Update

The Government Innovators Network includes a public forum component in some sections where ideas may be shared, debated, and otherwise discussed. We encourage a civil dialogue. We also send the user site and service announcement updates. Registered users are not able to unsubscribe from service announcements, which contain important information about the service. We communicate with the user to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their application via e-mail or phone. Request for removal from such updates will result in the deletion of a user account from the Innovations in American Government application database. Please see our Choice/Opt-out information below.



You agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the Innovations in American Government Awards Program, the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University, its officers, directors, employees, agents, and partners from and against all losses, expenses, damages and costs, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, resulting from any violation of these terms and conditions or any activity related to your Internet account (including negligent or wrongful conduct), by you or any other person accessing the Site on your behalf.


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 innovations@harvard.edu.


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 innovations@harvard.edu. Please include “OPT-OUT” in the subject line.

Users who no longer wish to have their application included within our database can also contact us at innovations@harvard.edu. 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.