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Associations Now

Idea Bank: Mobile App Catalog Spurs Innovation

ASSOCIATIONS NOW, November/December 2013 Money & Business

By: Rob Stott

Summary: The National Association of State Chief Information Officers recently launched an app-catalog on its website where members can upload state-specific apps for others to learn from and model after.

What's the great idea? A catalog of state-specific apps created by members, showcased on an easy-to-use website.

Who's doing it? The National Association of State Chief Information Officers

What's involved? The apps collected in the NASCIO State Mobile Apps Catalog were developed by state governments to provide information to the public and facilitate the delivery of state services. The collection, which began as a member-driven idea that had executive-level support, has grown to include more than 200 apps since its launch in late April. To be included, apps must be native (as opposed to a responsive-design website) and free, with no hidden usage charges. Members, stakeholders, and citizens may browse and download apps from the catalog.

"The catalog provides a convenient way for citizens to access these apps all in one location. But at the same time, for the states, it allows them to generate new ideas by seeing what other states are doing," says Samantha Wenger, research coordinator for NASCIO. "What you see with many of these states is that they all have a state parks app, they all have a DMV app, but where the catalog really succeeds is by demonstrating the unique, one-of-a-kind apps."

What are people saying? "Some of our members who have fewer apps in their state are absolutely motivated by this catalog," says Wenger.

Rob Stott is editorial assistant at Associations Now in Washington, DC. Email:

[This article was originally published in the Associations Now print edition, titled "State of Innovation" in the print edition.]

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