Frequently Asked Questions: Local Government Innovation Awards


Q. What is local government innovation and service redesign?

A. Local government innovation and service redesign aims to improve results in local services, typically by using one of the following strategies:

  • Creating greater accountability
  •  Using incentives, charges, and targeting to meet those in need 
  • Competitive contracting 
  • Funding consumers
  • Collaboration or consolidation
  • Prevention strategies that eliminate the need for a service
  • Divesting current services to the community

Q. Do the awards apply to new innovations only?
A. The innovation described in the entry must be underway or have taken place within the past two years. The innovation must be beyond the conceptual stage and must have demonstrated progress and impact.

Q. Can previous award winners enter?
A. Yes. Previous award winners are welcome to enter again. If they already won an award for a particular innovation, they cannot enter that same innovation again. More than one entry is allowed by the same government entity. However, the same department within a government entity cannot win more than one award.

Q. How many award winners will there be?
This year’s Awards will honor up to 20 local government entities (5 cities, 5 townships, 5 counties, and 5 schools) and one Native nation. Among these award winners, one entry (the Leading Innovator) in each of the five categories and the Local Government and Native Nation Collaborative Award will be awarded a professional video documenting their innovation and a grant of $5,000 each ($10,000 for Native nation) from the Bush Foundation to further their innovation and redesign efforts. 

Q. How will the recipients of the awards be selected?
A. Each category of entries (cities, townships, counties, schools and Native nations) will be reviewed by a separate panel of judges composed of an elected official, an appointed official, Humphrey School faculty, and a community member. Judges will review entries based on the following criteria: innovation (40%), impact (30%) and sustainability/potential for growth (30%). Each panel will put forth up to 5 Local Government Innovation Award Winners, resulting in up to 20 total award winners across the five categories. 

Five of the most innovative award winners—one city, one township, one county, one school and one Native nation - will be selected by the judges as winners of grants from the Bush Foundation and a professional video documenting their innovation. All award winners will be recognized and celebrated at an awards ceremony in December 12, 2019.