Four local programs win Innovation awards
Washington, D.C. — Ten federal, state and local programs that exemplify new models of government working effectively to produce results were named winners of the 1996 Innovations in American Government Awards by the Ford Foundation and Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Each winner received $100,000 from the Ford Foundation.
“These examples of effective government have produced extraordinary results for Americans,” said Ford Foundation President Susan Berresford at the awards ceremony. “They are helping restore faith in government’s ability to solve tough problems.”
Local government winners were:
Greater Avenues for Independence, Riverside County, Calif., which emphasizes placing welfare recipients in jobs as quickly as possible. The program has found jobs for more than 50,000 people since 1987;
Santa Fe Affordable Housing Roundtable, Santa Fe, N.M., which is building affordable housing for low-income families hard hit by escalating real estate prices through a public/private partnership of local governments, non-profit agencies, foundations, builders and lenders;
Compstat, New York City, which uses innovative computer technology that pinpoints high crime areas, combined with a new style of police management. The program has reduced crime dramatically, partly by holding precinct commanders and their counterparts in the detective bureaus accountable for correcting specific conditions; and
Arts Incubator, Arlington County, Va., which helps artists and arts organizations develop into self-sufficient community resources by combining traditional financial support with free theater, exhibitions, rehearsal spaces and intensive management assistance.
Over the program’s 10 years, the foundation has awarded $212 million to 180 governmental initiatives. A recent survey undertaken by the foundation noted that more than 85 percent of previous award-winning programs have been replicated or expanded in other jurisdictions both nationally and worldwide.
Winners were selected by the National Committee on Innovations in American Government, whose members include former elected officials, private industry leaders and journalists. For more information contact the program at its web site, http://ksgwww.harvard.edu/innovat/.