GMIS: Your Hidden International Membership Benefits

If you're in the habit of referring to GMIS as just that GMIS I would imagine it would be easy to forget that our organization's full name "GMIS International." Through our association with LOLA, a global nonprofit organization of ICT professional associations, members of GMIS have access to all kinds of cool benefits and connections with our global peers.

What's the value of exploring these opportunities? UNESCO's Courier recently published an interesting article on Estonia's tech-savvy government. What's so special about this former Soviet bloc country of 1.3 million citizens? In 1991, less than half the population had a phone and the only independent link to the outside world was a mobile phone hidden in the Foreign Minister's garden. Fast forward to 2007 when Estonia became the first country to allow online voting in a general election. Citizens pay for parking spaces with their mobile phones, and filing an annual tax return online takes about five minutes. Digital citizenship at its best!

As our citizens continue to demand "digital government" we should take every opportunity to learn from those who are already there. Our GMIS International membership gives us several opportunities to do just that. This month we'll list these benefits with a brief description, and provide more detailed information on each one in the future editions of the GEM.
  • LOLA Linked Organization of Local Authority ICT Societies
    LOLA's core values are based on a desire to provide a high standard of local authority services to our citizens through the effective deployment of Information and Communications Technologies. LOLA intends to achieve this through joint projects, sharing of good practice, products and services, joint influencing of national governments, and engaging the ICT supply industry.

  • ODEdu — Innovative Open Data Education and Training based on PBL and Learning Analytics
    The EU has earmarked 80,000 Euro to fund an Open Data training program for the Public Sector. This will provide GMIS International Members free training as the program is developed.

  • Citadel On the Move
    Citadel on the Move is a European Commission project which aims to make it easier for citizens and application developers from across Europe to use Open Data to create the type of innovative mobile applications they want and need. Additionally, there are currently over 800 apps in the catalog, which GMIS Members can copy and use.

  • Access to other Associations' Document Repositories, White Papers, Research, etc.
    SOCITM and ALGIM have vast resources that goes far beyond what GMIS can offer alone.

  • Access to IT resources of the European Union
    Example: http://lola-ict.org/news/2015/09/17/20-egovernment-solutions-free-of-charge

  • Opportunity for GMIS members to attend International conferences in all participating members of LOLA
    Read Clark Rainer's report on GMIS Members attending the 2017 LOLA Conference.

  • Exchange ideas and learn new perspectives
    LOLA connects us with colleagues in Canada, UK, Sweden, Belgium, Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand (soon to be Greece as well).

  • Sign up for other association newsletters, articles, etc.
    For example, The MISA Forum and the SOCITM Insight

Stay tuned for more in-depth articles about these opportunities, as well as additional benefits coming down the pipe, including participation in the LOLA International Awards Program and the possibility of networking with colleagues in Japan.