Selecting and Rewarding The Most Innovative Programs in Government

View this article online at and visit to sign up for free news updates
By on April 29, 2005 in Current Events with 0 Comments

Which government programs are the most creative and innovative? What types of programs should others in government emulate?

The Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, in partnership with the Council for Excellence in Government, will step into the breach and decide which programs fall into the category of outstanding government programs.

Four federal programs have been selected as finalists for the American Government Award. The four programs—along with 11 additional programs at the state and local level—are eligible for one of five $100,000 grand prize grants.

“By recognizing true innovation at all levels of government, and to give other jurisdictions the information and inclination to improve the lives of citizens, we hope to turn innovative ideas into commonly accepted best practices,” said Stephen Goldsmith, Director of the Innovations in American Government Awards. “The amazing scope of creativity represented by these four federal programs—as well as the state, county and city finalists—should give citizens renewed confidence in the quality of their public servants.”

The four federal finalists—selected from more than 1,000 applicants—are:

Global Development Alliance/U.S. Agency for International Development–combines the resources and expertise of the public and private sectors to improve the lives of people in the developing world. The program links U.S. foreign assistance with resources from business, non-governmental organizations and philanthropies for international development and humanitarian activities.

Laboratory Response Network/U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention–is a collaboration of 140 state and local public health laboratories–as well as federal, international and military facilities–that test for biological and chemical agents associated with terrorism or other public health emergencies.
Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART)/U.S. Office of Management and Budget–assesses federal program’s purpose, design, management and results to determine effectiveness. The uniform assessment is used to improve management and to make informed budget decisions. Environmental Protection Agency–is a web site that places the federal government’s rulemaking process at the American public’s fingertips, and where citizens can search and comment on any proposed federal regulation.

Patricia McGinnis, President and CEO of the Council for Excellence in Government. “These efforts truly represent the best and brightest in federal government innovations,” said “Each one takes a creative approach to a significant problem. It is our honor to shine a bright light on them and to encourage other government entities to replicate them.”

Each finalist will make a presentation on May 11, 2005 before the National Selection Committee. The five winners will be announced on July 27th at the 2005 Excellence in Government conference. Each program that is selected will receive a grant of $100,000.

For more information on the awards and the finalists visit or

© 2017 Ralph R. Smith. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Ralph R. Smith.

About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources. Follow Ralph on Twitter: @RalphSmith47