4A. Stakeholder Engagement through Prizes and Challenges
Through the coordinating efforts of its Innovation Council, HHS has embraced the notion of engaging HHS stakeholders through prize and challenge competitions to help the Department in solving its most pressing problems. To date, HHS has launched or participated in approximately 20 challenge contests, all of which are available to the public through the Challege.Gov site at http://challenge.gov/HHS. These contests have helped to identify and recognize new approaches to program recruitment; lead to the development of inspirational videos about real-life confrontations with drug abuse and addiction; inspire communication materials about new approaches to healthy living; promote the development of mobile and wireless applications that help consumers find the best care providers, and foster the development of prototype web and mobile communication technology applications to enable communities’ use of population data for cancer prevention and control. In many of these cases, HHS has been able to gather novel approaches that it did not have the capacity to develop internally.
The Innovation Council is actively developing guidance and educational materials for HHS program managers who wish to engage the public and other stakeholders in helping the Department to solve mission-relevant problems. Simultaneously, the Council is working with the HHS Office of General Council to clarify and resolve important legal and policy issues related to the development and execution of challenges.