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Global Parliamentary Report 2022 - Public engagement in the work of parliament

The third Global Parliamentary Report examines public engagement in the work of parliament. It recognizes that parliaments have a vital role to play in addressing the challenges of today’s rapidly changing world, by enabling people to connect with and participate in the law-making, policy formulation and oversight processes that impact their lives now and into the future.

This report takes a detailed look at why public engagement matters and how parliaments across the world are engaging with the communities they represent. It outlines trends and strategic priorities for public engagement. It also considers key focal points for ensuring better and deeper engagement into the future, in support of the fundamental principles of effective institutions and inclusive decision-making embedded within the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The information, findings and recommendations in this report set out a road map for enhanced public engagement by parliaments and parliamentarians, working collaboratively with the community to achieve participatory, inclusive and responsive parliaments.

Parliaments need to be future-focused

In a rapidly changing world, parliaments need to be responsive, adapting and revitalizing their practices and processes to meet the challenges of the present and the future. Only by moving with the times can parliaments remain relevant to the communities they represent.

This report serves as a clarion call for parliaments to be future-focused in their engagement. It outlines some key initiatives for parliaments to think about and act on:

Take youth seriously

 

Young people are a growing proportion of the world’s population. In order to remain relevant to this expanding group, parliaments need to connect and interact meaningfully with them. Parliaments can enliven their youth engagement by working with young people to co-design a charter for youth participation.

Leave no one behind

 

Parliaments have a special responsibility to ensure that groups that are underrepresented, face disadvantage or are newly arrived in a country can participate in democratic processes. In order to elevate inclusion to a top priority, parliaments can develop an inclusion action plan, working in collaboration with groups currently facing barriers to participation.

Transform through technology

 

New ways of communicating, learning and working are transforming society. In order to keep up with the rapid pace of technological change, parliaments need to prioritize their own digital transformation, particularly in their approaches to public engagement. Across all facets of engagement, parliaments would benefit from developing a portfolio of digital tools to boost interaction with the community.

Encourage innovation

 

Effective engagement relies on parliament being open to the public and welcoming people’s participation. Openness also drives innovation by allowing for new ways of thinking, planning and working. It demonstrates a willingness to collaborate and co-create with civil society. One way to bring about a transformative cultural shift in public engagement by parliament is to establish an innovation task force. By embracing innovation in their own processes and leading public debate about the future, parliaments have an opportunity to present themselves as forward-thinking and forward-looking institutions.

Work together

 

Worldwide challenges, transient populations and digital technologies that penetrate national borders all point to a future in which the global community will be increasingly interconnected. This presents an opportunity for parliaments to cooperate and draw on each other’s experiences, methods and solutions. Fostering a community of practice among parliaments will stimulate effective approaches to engagement across the world.

Recommendations

This report sets out five top-level recommendations that will help parliaments boost community interest and participation in their work:

  1. Strategic: Embed a culture of engagement across parliament for a united and concerted effort towards broader and better public participation.
  2. Inclusive: Make inclusion a priority so that parliament is accessible to all community members.
  3. Participatory: Encourage people to participate in setting the agenda through opportunities to influence the issues taken up by parliament.
  4. Innovative: Lead with bold and creative approaches that involve and inspire the community to engage with parliament now and into the future.
  5. Responsive: Focus on meeting public expectations by listening to community feedback and continually improving.

"The mandate of representation must be understood as continuous contact between citizen and representative - Alberto De Belaunde, member of the Peruvian Congress.

Downloads 

Global Parliamentary Report 2022: Public engagement in the work of parliament. English - French - Spanish

Annex: Case studies and practical guides. English  - French - Spanish

Executive summary. English French - Spanish - Arabic

Contact

IPU and UNDP are able to support parliaments that want to strengthen their public engagement.

Please contact us at [email protected] for more information.