The Code for America Innovator Awards honor groups or individuals that are shaping the path forward in the civic tech community. They are working on or delivering products and services that speak to Code for America’s core value that government can and should work well for everyone. Award nominations were sourced from Code for America program staff and voted on by our Summit content committee.
Recipients of each Innovator Award will be honored on the Summit mainstage.
2023 Awards Categories & Winners
Government Changemaker Award
The Government Changemaker award goes to an individual or group that applied a digital solution to a government system that improved their community access. The award winner will have used Code for America’s human-centered government principles to deliver a solution that improved quality of life for their community while increasing equity.
Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS)
Louisiana DCFS collaborated shoulder to shoulder with Code for America to identify opportunities to improve the benefits journey in Louisiana for clients and caseworkers. By conducting generative and evaluative research as well as engaging policy staff, caseworkers, and program staff, they collaboratively identified challenges and digital, human-centered solutions. As a result, Louisiana DCFS will work with Code for America to implement three multilingual interventions—a document uploader, expanded texting campaign, and digital assister—that will help hundreds of thousands of clients get and keep benefits, reduce time costs for caseworkers, and increase agency transparency and trust.
Additionally, messages sent by the state of Louisiana led over 4,000 Louisianans to file tax returns using GetCTC, claiming over $4 million in tax credits. Most of these messages were sent by the DCFS, who reached out to beneficiaries throughout 2022. Their leadership shows the promise and power of cross-agency collaboration in promoting these critical government benefits.
Community Leadership Award
The Community Leadership award goes to an individual or group that has leveraged lived experience and partnered with government to address inequities in service delivery. This individual or group is passionate about addressing systemic issues with technology-based government solutions.
Adams County Community Safety and Wellbeing Department
The Adams County Community Safety and Wellbeing Department worked with Code for America Community Fellows to create a digital service that provides shelter to unhoused residents in times of inclement weather. They supported the Fellows, who all had personally experienced housing instability up to homelessness, to build a digital product called the Severe Weather Activation Program + app (SWAPP) that prioritized the needs and the perspectives of the community that they set out to serve. SWAPP was adopted by government and went live in March of 2021. In 2022, Adams County averted more than 16,000 nights of unsheltered homelessness as a result of this key partnership.