For its first several years, the Harvard Kennedy School program to celebrate public-sector breakthroughs was called Innovations in State and Local Government. In the mid-1990s eligibility was opened to federal applicants, though without any expectation that hidebound Washington would generate much in the way of innovation. But federal entries actually won a big share of the awards in subsequent years. Like just about everybody else, I was surprised by this, and decided to explore what was going on. With the help of a team of research assistants, I produced a book called Making Government Work that profiled the story behind each of the 14 programs that won Innovations in American Government awards in the first five years of federal eligibility.
Donahue, John D. "Crisis and Innovation: Let the Bad Times Roll." Governing, June 30, 2010.