Why Submit?


IT teams work hard and receiving recognition from colleagues of a “job well done” is meaningful


entries articulate what you did and why it mattered; leverage writeups with key stakeholders within your state


promote awareness of transformative, results-oriented projects and tune out the stereotype of overbudget and behind schedule


all projects are added to the NASCIO Awards Library where states can find inspiration and replicable ideas

Award Details

The Highlights

  • Entry must be submitted by a state employee ( has state domain email address) and with the approval of the state CIO
  • The PDF document follows naming convention, is no more than 7 pages, and contains the sections (identified by headings) of Executive Summary, Idea, Implementation, and Impact
  • A state may only submit one entry per category
  • Late entries or those summited by email will not be considered
  • Business Process Innovations
  • Cross-Boundary Collaboration & Partnerships
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data Management, Analytics & Visualization
  • Digital Services: Government to Business
  • Digital Services: Government to Citizen
  • Emerging & Innovative Technologies
  • Enterprise IT Management Initiatives
  • Information Communications Technology Innovations
  • State CIO Office (or equivalent) Special Recognition

Who can submit?

  • NASCIO state/territory members in good standing
  • Other NASCIO members may work with a state CIO office to coordinate a nomination
  • Entries must either be submitted by the state CIO office or from a state agency with state CIO office approval (person submitting the entry must have a state email address)

What projects are eligible?

  • Project must have been fully implemented with the past 24 months (Emerging & Innovative Technologies category projects may be in beta phase)
  • Project must be state-focused (not federal/local/regional)
  • Multi-state projects are encouraged (only one state should submit but all involved will be recognized)
  • Project must be able to stand on its own; if the project is a phase of a larger initiative, only the benefits of the phase will be evaluated and recognized

What else should I know?

  • One entry per category per state
  • A project may only be entered in one category
  • Projects previously named as an award recipient may not be resubmitted
  • Entry must be submitted online
  • Entry must adhere to the format guidelines

Entry Format

  • File name must follow the naming convention of StateAbbreviation_Category (ex. KY_Cybersecurity)
  • Entry must be submitted as a PDF that is no more than 7 pages
    • Page 1        | Cover Page (include state, agency, award category, project title, project dates and contact)
    • Pages 2 – 7 | Executive Summary and Project Description (Idea, Implementation and Impact) – ENTRY MUST INCLUDE THESE SECTIONS IDENTIFIED BY HEADINGS
  • Entries may reference private-sector partners, but must not include logos in the document or company/product names in the entry title

Scoring Guidelines 

IDEA (25%)

What problem or opportunity does the project address?

* Explain how the project solves a critical business problem, improves business processes, or increases citizen engagement with/access to state government

Why does it matter?

* Outline the business rationale for why this problem/opportunity should be addressed and what change it will make for the agency/state/citizenry

* Provide relevant data for support, such as cost, human resources, size of constituent group, consequences of not addressing the issue

What makes it different?

* Showcase what makes the project innovative and distinct from similar initiatives

What makes it universal?

* Specify what the project addresses that is universal to all states, such as state or federal mandates, or one of the State CIO Top Ten Priorities


What was the roadmap?

* Describe how this project fits into an enterprise view

* Describe the project management approach

* Outline how the project will be assessed and what successful implementation looks like

Who was involved?

* From concept to fruition, profile the groups key to the success of the project, such as legislators, vendors, agency staff or citizens and explain their role, such as advocate, implementation, oversight, end-user or beneficiary

* Share how approval, buy-in, awareness and adoption were obtained from these stakeholders and include key pieces of communications/marketing plans

How did you do it?

* Outline the resources needed, such as financial, human and time

* Give a brief overview of the technical architecture focusing on why it matters more than how it was delivered, such as the technology is new/emerging, or the project uses leading practices or frameworks around cybersecurity, accessibility, privacy, etc.

IMPACT (50%)

What did the project make better?

* Tell the story of why the project matters, connecting the results back to the business rationale

* Compare the environment before and after the project was completed

* Describe the benefits and the impact for the nominating agency and constituents

How do you know?

* Include the data – quantitative and qualitative- to support the story, such as cost savings / avoidance, ROI, usage, transaction times, customer feedback, constituent experience

* Provide a testimony of either a citizen or business area underscoring the impact

What now?

* Detail the longer-term plan for the project, including how will the project be maintained

* Tell us why this project is worthy of the initial investment and any ongoing investment

  • Entries are reviewed for eligibility, adherence to format guidelines, and alignment with award category; the award contact will be notified of any issues and granted 48 hours to resolve the situation. (entries that remain non-compliant will not be reviewed by judges)
  • Entries are judged by a volunteer panel of NASCIO state and corporate members (NASCIO makes every effort to avoid potential conflicts of interest; judges do not score projects from their own state or in which their company played a role)
  • Judges will use the Project Description (Idea, Implementation and Impact) as the basis of their scores
    • AWARD TIP Creativity is encouraged to help tell the story of the project – visuals aids, such as photos, graphs and flowcharts may be included to support the written description as long as the nomination remains within the 7-page limit
    • AWARD TIP While the content of the entry is what matters most, your title does set the tone; put on your creative hat and find a title that strikes a balance of catchy and descriptive
    • SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIALS: Links to project sites may be included, but scores are based on the written entry. Please assume judges will not visit external sites. Materials attached to a entry, such as brochures or articles, will not be reviewed.
  • In each award category, the 3 highest rated projects will be named as finalists; the highest rated will be named the recipient
  • A state can be recognized as an award recipient in no more than two categories a year (if a state has recipient-level scores in more than 2 categories, the 2 highest scored entries will be selected as the recipient in the respective categories; multi-state initiatives and the State CIO Office Special Recognition category are exceptions)

Helpful Resources

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