The Voice of the People Awards (VOP) are the only awards given in local government based on the opinion of community residents. They are presented jointly by National Research Center (NRC) at Polco and the International City / County Management Association (ICMA). Award-winning communities embody the spirit of The National Community Survey™ (The NCS™) and display commitment to best practices in moving their communities forward. The awards acknowledge local governments with the highest or most improved ratings on The National Community Survey (The NCS), or the best use of the Polco engagement platform, and that take the best actions based on their data.
The awards for Excellence recognize communities that received the highest marks from residents in the previous year and are at the top of the cohort of The NCS participants.
The awards for Transformation recognize communities that have seen significant increase in favorable ratings in resident responses over repeated administrations of The NCS.
Awards are also given to local government organizations that demonstrate the best online engagement on the Polco platform.
Nominees are selected in the summer, notified by Polco, and invited to participate by completing an application form, and emailing any supporting materials. If nominated for multiple awards, an application is created separately for each nomination. Once received, applications are evaluated by a team of data scientists at Polco and final selections made. Awards (and plaques) are typically presented at the annual ICMA conference, or mailed as needed after the ceremony. In addition to a plaque, recipients also receive a press release template and an award “button” graphic.