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Program Overview

More and more pockets of government are recognizing the benefits of prize competitions. With a challenge, your agency can:

  • Pay only for performance
  • Discover new talent
  • Stimulate the market
  • Make the impossible possible
  • Drive collaborative innovation
  • Power ideas into reality

List Your Challenge

All federal agencies are required to “list” their prizes on Challenge.gov, but there are three ways in which to highlight your competition:

  1. Listing: This option allows you to link to a third-party platform on which you are hosting the crowdsourcing competition. (All links will open in a new tab.)
  2. Hybrid: Agencies can provide key details about their challenge competitions, but link off to a third-party platform for additional features such as leaderboards and microsites.
  3. Hosting: The site provides a hosting feature, available at no cost to help you communicate the challenge description, official rules, and other key details. Hosting provides agencies with an administrative dashboard for collecting entries as well as engaging directly with solvers through a challenge-specific message board and private correspondence with the solver. All challenges hosted on the platform are open to the public, and require no registration until citizens are ready to submit their entries.

If your agency is considering a challenge competition, we have a wealth of information to help you through the process:

Challenge.gov is administered by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) in partnership with agencies across government and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Hosting on Challenge.gov

Platform features include:

  1. Promotion from the Challenge.gov main listing page: Title, logo, call to action (summary), prize amount, agency, dates
  2. Agency overview:
    1. Agency description and list of its current and former challenge competitions
    2. Example: http://www.challenge.gov/agency/department-of-the-interior/bureau-of-reclamation/
  3. Challenge page features:
    1. Overview, rules, dates, how to submit, terms and conditions
    2. Prizes (amounts and detailed breakdown)
    3. Judges (optional) and judging criteria
    4. Discussion board
    5. Accept submissions (via standard form which emails to challenge manager and team)
    6. Public voting (5-star rating, optional)
    7. Display solutions (optional)
    8. Winner display with summary and links
    9. Ability to add logos, video, and other media in multiple areas
    10. Example: http://www.challenge.gov/challenge/public-sector-program-management-a-vision-for-the-future/

The program also provides social media promotion and program amplification of your communications and outreach.

Additionally, each year, agencies are required to provide an annual reporting of prizes to Congress. As a database, Challenge.gov can help you record and track progress with your crowdsourcing initiatives.

Data entered into the platform’s non-public view is available for agencies to run reports and do analysis of one or many programs. The database serves as a federal-wide look at the overall program for end-of-year reporting on prize implementation, as required by Congress annually.

There are three organizations which work together to manage, promote, support and provide resources for federal crowdsourcing: the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the U.S. General Services Administration, and the NASA Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation.

There is a 700+ person federal government-only community of practice. Through a listserv, in-person quarterly meetings, and monthly webinars, we have peer-to-peer mentoring, collaboration and information sharing for best practices and changes in the programs. To join, type “subscribe” in the subject line and email team@challenge.gov.

If your agency is looking to conduct a challenge competition, we have a wealth of information to help you through the process.

Contact us to get started — email team@challenge.gov for more information.