Campus & Community

IBM, Ash Institute create award to recognize innovation in government

3 min read

IBM and the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Kennedy School of Government (KSG) recently announced the creation of a $100,000 award program to recognize the world’s most transformative government programs.

All levels of government — central, state, local, tribal, and territorial — are eligible to apply for recognition of programs that cover the full scope of government activity, ranging from health care, education, and social services to national security. To qualify for an award, innovations must reflect tangible and sustainable improvements in policy, processes, quality, timeliness, or effectiveness of public services.

The Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation will administer the IBM Innovations Award in Transforming Government, with the winner selected by an executive committee. The committee will be accepting nominations through April 30 with the recipient to be announced in the fall at a ceremony celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Innovations in American Government Awards Program.

“IBM is pleased to support the Innovations in Transforming Government award program,” said Todd Ramsey, general manager, IBM Global Government and Education. “This program will be a strong catalyst for bringing to light the best new approaches to solving the tough challenges facing governments today. We want to recognize organizations that are making game-changing improvements and share their experiences with others.”

Stephen Goldsmith, director of the Innovations in American Government Program at the Ash Institute and the Daniel Paul Professor of Government at KSG, will oversee the selection process in collaboration with the executive committee. A longtime scholar and practitioner of innovation in government, Goldsmith expects the nomination process to uncover innovative approaches making government more effective and accountable.

“Increasingly, government must manage a diverse web of relationships to deliver value to citizens,” Goldsmith said, “and often this requires a profound change in the way that governments do business. I’m excited to partner with IBM to recognize the best innovations in governmental transformation worldwide.”

Nominees for the award program must demonstrate exceptional results in five key areas:

  • Innovation: the degree to which the transformation demonstrates a fundamental change in the management, direction, or policy approach of a particular agency, jurisdiction, or country
  • Effectiveness: the degree to which the transformation has achieved tangible and sustainable results
  • Scope: the degree to which the transformation can demonstrate substantial reach and significance
  • Collaboration: the degree to which the transformation demonstrates successful cooperation among internal agencies and external partners
  • Transferability: the degree to which the transformation, or aspects of it, shows promise of inspiring successful replication by other governmental entities

The Roy Lila Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation advances excellence in governance and strengthens democratic institutions worldwide. Through its research, publications, leadership training, global network, and awards program — developed in collaboration with a diverse, engaged community of scholars and practitioners — the institute fosters creative and effective government problem solving.