Enter the 2014 Better Government Competition – Winning Prize: $10,000 – Theme: Technology

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Pioneer Institute invites you to enter our 2014 Better Government Competition (BGC) for your chance to win $10,000.

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The 2014 competition seeks technological solutions to create more efficiency, transparency, cost-effectiveness, and higher quality service in the public sector. (Sample topics below.)

Entry deadline: Monday, April 7th. Visit our  BGC 2014 website to download this year’s guidelines and enter online!

The winner will receive a $10,000 prize and each runner-up will receive a $1,000 prize. At our June BGC Awards Dinner, Pioneer will announce the winners and celebrate their efforts.

What is the Better Government Competition?The Better Government Competition is an annual citizens’ idea contest. Since 1991, the Competition has promoted innovative policy approaches and tested solutions. Implementation of the Competition’s winning entries has saved Massachusetts well over half a billion dollars, and influenced numerous state and federal policy decisions.With this year’s theme of technology, we seek creative approaches to using information systems and telecommunications to make government more affordable, accessible, efficient, and less susceptible to fraud, waste, and abuse. Importantly, we seek ideas that are protective of individual rights.
Sample Topics: 

  • Improving information-sharing and communications between federal, state, and local governments.
  • Detection and prevention of fraud in public benefit programs and improvement of administration and oversight of such programs, resource and referral practices, identity verification, and cyber security.
  • Reducing the administrative burden and expense of complying with government reporting, licensing, permitting, and regulatory requirements.
  • Transportation advancements including long-term maintenance for roads and bridges, day-to-day road repairs, advances in de-icing roadways, high-speed trains and efficiencies in all aspects inter-agency cooperation.
  • Intelligent traffic solutions addressing traffic congestion problems that affect all major cities in the United States.
  • Reducing energy costs incurred by government agencies.
  • Use of technology to address environmental concerns including water and air pollution, waste management, deforestation, resource depletion, and alternative energy development and conservation.
  • Technology in education from virtual classrooms to technology for school safety measures, administrative work, and CORI checks.
  • The future of government includes more use of wireless communications for law enforcement and health care providers.
  • Other ideas? Entrants are not limited to the categories listed above. Feel free to bring to our attention your own idea for technological advancements which will improve government.


Should I Enter?The Competition grand prize winner is awarded $10,000; three runners-up receive $1,000 each. The contest is open to all people and organizations -academics, non-profits, entrepreneurs, government officials, and interested citizens. Pioneer Institute can provide quality entrants with the resources to develop their ideas. We protect the identity of those preferring anonymity.


Entering Is Easy!Submit an idea paper of five or fewer pages describing the problem you’re addressing and your solution.The “idea” can be a new concept or a recently implemented program that shows promising results. We do not expect great detail in the initial submission, but be sure to touch briefly on the following elements:

  • A description, with relevant background, of the problem to be addressed.
  • An explanation of the proposed solution and how it would change current practice. If appropriate, cite examples of similar approaches employed elsewhere. If possible, discuss the costs and benefits of your approach compared to current practice; potential obstacles to implementation; and the potential for replication in Massachusetts. Please note: We do not consider legal obstacles or the need for new legislation barriers to entry.


Three Ways to Enter:

  1. Submit online
  2. Submit by email at bgc@pioneerinst.wpengine.com (include your paper as an attachment)
  3. Submit by mail to: Shawni Littlehale, Director, Better Government Competition, Pioneer Institute, 185 Devonshire Street, Suite 1101, Boston, MA 02110