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Issue 3

IPU Innovation Tracker

The quarterly electronic bulletin from the Centre for Innovation in Parliament

Innovation Tracker

Issue 3

Welcome to the third edition of the Innovation Tracker, which includes examples from the parliaments of Argentina, Greece, Jordan and Myanmar, and updates from the Centre’s hubs.

Innovation Tracker contributions

We are posting examples of innovation in parliament on Twitter using the hashtags #innovation #parliament. Please join us in using these hashtags, or send us good examples that we can share!

Do you have an example of innovative parliamentary working methods to share in the Innovation Tracker? Tell us about it via this online form or by e-mail to innovation@ipu.org.

Innovation in parliamentary working methods

Hellenic parliament: Making past parliamentary data usable through crowdsourcing

What is the problem that the OCR platform tries to solve? The Hellenic Parliament stores parliamentary questions using a combination of metadata extracted manually from the original text and the scanned document as an image file. Consequently, the parliamentary questions cannot be widely accessed or studied because of the lack of access to the original content. A 10-step OCR process
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Myanmar Parliament introduces intranet as part of digital transformation strategy

The intranet, based on a Microsoft SharePoint 2016 “on-premises” platform and entirely developed by an in-house team, provides members of parliament and staff with access to session and committee documents such as meeting agendas, minutes, bills, questions, motions, research papers and more. With the technical support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Myanmar and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)
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Jordanian Parliament overhauls plenary management and broadcasting in 45 days

Under the auspices of the EU Support to Jordanian Democratic Institutions & Development project (EU-JDID), the House of Representatives set out to introduce a new plenary management system with features including: biometric authentication of MPs; desks with touchscreens allowing members to consult all sitting papers, register to speak and request services; and automatic live broadcasting of proceedings. The implementation challenges
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Parliamentary action on technology trends

Building parliamentarians’ commitment to transparency in Argentina

Between 20 May and 12 September 2019, the Directorio Legislativo – an Argentinian organization that promotes parliamentary transparency and citizen participation – ran the innovative #HolaCongreso! (Hello Congress!) campaign. Over 400 volunteers from all across Argentina, including students from 44 different academic disciplines, enrolled to work with members of parliament and senators to promote the adoption of good transparency practices
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Updates from the hubs

Thematic

Inter-parliamentary dialogue focused on the intersection of innovation and transparency

Transparency

The host of this hub, the Knesset of Israel, and the IPU signed a Memorandum of Understanding in September 2019, and are working towards activating the hub with further activities to be announced. The hub envisages developing, supporting, and coordinating an inter-parliamentary dialogue focused on the intersection of innovation and transparency. Specific objectives include sharing best practices and collaboratively addressing challenges faced by parliaments worldwide related to subjects such as: transparency and accountability; public participation, engagement, and involvement in parliament’s work; and, new technologies and innovative practices which enhance transparency in parliaments.

Transparency

IT Governance Hub developments

ICT governance hub

The IT Governance Hub hosted by the European Parliament is continuing to register new participants on its online platform: 88 individual accesses have been granted for staff belonging to 48 organizations, including recently the Parliaments of Angola and Moldova. Following several requests, the content of the documents included in the platform is now also available in French, Portuguese and Spanishand. Translation was done using the automatic translation engines of the eTranslation service provided by the European Commission. In addition, on top of self-development through the various paths proposed, the platform can be used to support five different types of events: presentations, peer-to-peer support, support to a regional hub, thematic exchange, and train the trainers. A new section has been introduced to list the events that have been performed / planned.

Finally, from 11 to 12 July 2019, the representative of the IT Governance Hub took part in the kick-off of the INTER PARES project in Brussels (hosted by the European Parliament). Following discussions, it was agreed in the context of the project that the IT Governance Hub will be invited where possible to introduce the development of the IT governance capacity during peer-to-peer support with selected parliaments from partner countries.

ICT governance hub

Building the proof of concept

Open data hub

The Brazilian Chamber of Deputies as hub host is continuing with the development of the proof of concept (POC) which aims to provide a search web interface that selected users will be able to access and test how the real world application will work. Some parliaments have made contributions which are being considered in the POC. Through this interface, it will be possible to query the laws from selected countries (Brazil, Canada, Estonia, Israel, and South Africa) and the European Parliament, which will provide a preview of how the interface will benefit parliaments (MPs, advisors, consultants, etc.) and citizens. During the Legislative Research Conference in the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies (16-17 September), Patricia Almeida presented the Open Data Hub. Its audience was composed by master-degree students, by the Chamber of Deputies, Senate and State legislatures staff.

During the Legislative Research Conference in the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies (16-17 September), Patricia Almeida presented the Open Data Hub. Its audience was composed by master-degree students, by the Chamber of Deputies, Senate and State legislatures staff.

Open data hub
Regional

Reaching out to regional parliaments

Caribbean hub

The Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago as host, has reached out to regional parliaments, specifically at the ICT managers’ level to propose their participation and commencement of knowledge sharing activity on the CIP Yammer platform. The Parliaments of Guyana and Suriname have responded positively. Others are evaluating this request. To strengthen further engagement a joint IPU-Trinidad and Tobago Parliament invitation is being prepared aimed at Clerks and SGs of the Caribbean parliaments.

Caribbean hub

Regional office established

East African hub

The Parliament of Kenya has established its regional office space to coordinate the East African Hub activities. As part of this, it is also trialling voice-over & video IP connection solutions, to allow for cost effective communication between hub members. The hub is preparing to convene the Secretaries-General of parliaments at the upcoming IPU Assembly in Belgrade, to discuss among others the envisaged First East African Hub Regional Meeting. On promoting innovations, the Parliament of Kenya shared with others information and material about its aParlKenya app for paperless proceedings. Finally, the hub provided feedback on the status of social media use to CIP for its preparation of the Social Media Guide.

East African hub

Finalizing the portal

Hispanophone hub

The implementation of the Hispanophone Hub portal is in its final stage. The portal's objective is to have a shared networking space that mainly allows Spanish-speaking Latin American parliaments to access technological solutions and good practices as a reference, or to adopt technological solutions implemented in other parliaments. This stage includes the aggregation and publication of contents, and the creation of user profiles for the member parliaments so that each can publish and share solutions and technological experiences. In addition, this portal will keep a record of "e-Parlament updates" to provide indicators over time about the state of technological modernization across the board. It is expected that by mid-November this portal will be available, which will be a contribution by and for regional parliaments.

Hispanophone hub

Building membership, delivering training

Pacific hub

The Parliament of New Zealand as host continues to build membership and resources in the hub’s Yammer space. A Citizens Engagement and Public Outreach training for Pacific Parliaments will be held in association with UNDP in Samoa in October. The New Zealand Parliament will provide a resource person and promote the regional hub for education, engagement and ICT officers.

Pacific hub