Today the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, announced the top 25 programs in the Innovations in American Government Award competition. These programs represent the best in creative problem solving of local, state, and federal municipalities around the country and were selected from a pool of more than 500 qualified government applicants. Five finalists and one winner of the Innovations in American Government Award will be announced in the fall.
The Top 25 Innovations in Government offer unique solutions in health and wellness, social services delivery, the environment, economic development, and education policy areas. Read the Top 25 program descriptions.
In response to the national obesity epidemic, several jurisdictions created successful initiatives to promote healthy eating and active living. Somerville, Massachusetts’ Shape Up Somerville has increased youth education on good nutrition and expanded opportunities for more active commuting. Arkansas’ Act 1220: Body Mass Index (BMI) initiative also seeks to curb obesity— through its annual BMI screening of public school students, the state is the first in the nation to successfully report a halt in the progression of childhood obesity. General health care programs include Healthy San Francisco, which offers universal, affordable health care to San Francisco’s 60,000 uninsured, and the Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Project which provides timely psychiatric consultations to children with behavioral health issues.