How Civic Exchange uses apps to improve public services (Guest Post)

civic exchange
Our latest guest post is written by Isobel Roberts, Web Producer at Civic Exchange,  an online platform created to showcase and promote the reuse of civic apps and digital services across Europe. She talks about the new civic apps and digital services Civic Exchange has launched to improve public services.

Here at Nesta, we’ve launched Civic Exchange to help improve public services by showcasing civic apps and digital services, and we need your help to find the most impactful software out there.

As Apple’s trademarked saying goes, ‘there’s an app for that’ – and this rings true for government and civic sectors too. From the StreetBump app that identifies potholes, to the Patchwork service enabling care professionals to communicate better, technology is helping improve local public services.

Hundreds of apps and digital solutions, solving many civic challenges, are being deployed across the globe and here at Nesta we want to draw from the experience of successful services to enable impactful solutions to scale.

That’s why last autumn we launched Civic Exchange, a platform for improving public services by showcasing and promoting the reuse of civic software. There are more similarities than differences in the challenges faced by local governments but we still see lots of reinventing of the wheel when it comes to digital services, rather than scaling and improving on great ideas. Therefore, with Civic Exchange we want build a useful tool for local authority users that focuses on the sharing and exchange of digital software with a proven track record.

This is where we now need your help.We’re already featuring a whole range of apps and digital services, but we’re on the hunt for suggestions for more entries. We’re hoping to find examples across any sector – from health to tourism to employment – that fit the following criteria:

  • Have a civic focus, are aimed at improving the lives of citizens.

  • Are relatively mature. They should be deployed or used in at least one location.

  • Provide some form of evidence of use and effectiveness to make the case to others why they should consider adopting them.

These could run by local government itself, or created by third party organisations. If you have any suggestions, we’d love to hear from you. You can send us an email at or tweet us via @CivExchange. You can also add your own civic apps and digital services to Civic Exchange – you just need to register for an account.

Over the next few months we’ll be adding more entries to the site and creating a selection of evidence-based case studies to showcase the most impactful civic software we find. Our aim is that Civic Exchange can then be used as an accurate, reliable and evidence-driven resource for anybody wanting to improve public services using proven digital tools.

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