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Hispanophone hub

Regional

This hub is part of the Centre for Innovation in Parliament.

The regional hubs promote the effective use of technology in parliaments by sharing and consolidating information on past, ongoing and future ICT initiatives at regional level, and through the CIP secretariat at global level. Membership: any Spanish-speaking parliament.

The Hispanophone hub is aimed at Spanish-speaking parliaments, and in addition aims to share technological tools, software developed by the parliaments, and free access third party software, through a dedicated portal.

Host parliament:
5 hub updates

Southern Africa and Hispanophone hubs hold virtual meetings with Member Parliaments

Southern African hub
Hispanophone hub

The CIP Southern Africa and Hispanophone hubs each held virtual Zoom meetings with Member Parliaments[1] on 12 May and 19 June respectively. The meetings were attended by IT directors and senior IT staff and aimed at facilitating knowledge exchange between the parliaments of the respective regions and, in particular, concerning ongoing or planned ICT projects for remote working / meeting / voting solutions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its disruption of parliamentary activity. The Southern Africa meeting was organized by the hub host – the National Assembly of Zambia; it also saw the participation of the Secretary General of the SADC Parliamentary Forum Ms. Boemo Sekgoma. The Hispanophone hub meeting was organized by the Chamber of Deputies of Chile as hub host, with support from the IPU and the National Democratic Institute (NDI).

Zoom

The meetings each featured a global overview presentation by the IPU Centre for Innovation in Parliament based on the ongoing survey which forms part of the IPU campaign Parliaments in a time of pandemic; followed by brief updates from the hub parliaments which provided more details on: the current status of parliamentary activity, including plenary and committee meetings; whether remote working and meeting solutions were deployed; how remote voting was handled; and how the legal framework for parliaments facilitated the above. The meetings were concluded with rich Q&A segments.

Some of the highlights of these meetings include:

  1. The disruption brings a tremendous opportunity to innovate. Parliamentary leaders are more than ever engaged in discussing innovation and are increasing their familiarity with digital issues.
  2. Most parliaments are faced with the same challenge of maintaining parliamentary business and implementing solutions for remote working and meeting. Many parliament IT teams are in one or more of the following stages of platform evaluation, procurement, testing and developing operating procedures; integrating of additional parliamentary meeting functionality (e.g. attendance, voting, speaking order, time management); and reviewing /amending standing orders.
  3. There are many common solutions being trialed and implemented. Remote working platforms like MS Teams and Zoom are top choice, but others such as Cisco WebEx, Jitsi are also being trialed. 
  4. Inclusiveness is high on the agenda: in both regions there are MPs that need to connect from remote areas where internet connectivity is suboptimal. Parliaments are trying to work around this by offering better voice and data packages. Others are resorting to the hybrid model where the lesser connected MPs do come to parliament and sit in smaller distributed rooms to respect social distancing, and others participate in meetings from their homes (e.g. in capital and bigger cities). The meetings are however conducted via videoconferencing. 
  5. There are lessons learned emerging from rolling out the new innovations to MPs. While the remote meeting solutions are relatively user friendly for MPs, they still require lots of technical support in other areas such as how to connect to parliamentary systems or how to use devices. Other “new issues” that are emerging include how to manage MPs virtual image and reputation (that is, look good during virtual meetings); and, how to conduct virtual meetings in an orderly manner. 
  6. Committee meetings are smaller in size as social distancing and other health-safety measures are observed.
  7. Parliaments present in the meetings agreed that knowledge-sharing on remote working and meeting solutions and practices is needed. The regional hubs will seek to facilitate this via the already existing WhatsApp groups –in a more structured manner.

Zoom

  1. Remote voting is by far the biggest challenge, where technical solutions must ensure security and integrity (that is, auditability) of the voting process. However, voting can be very simple initially (if well regulated): show of colored voting cards (Paraguay example). In the long term more integrity of the voting process is needed.
  2. Lastly there is a growing consensus among the senior IT officials that “we are not going backˮ. Several administrations are studying long-term solutions in rooted in comprehensive digital transformation with the electronic signature and e-document solutions and processes that are key pillars of the digital parliament

[1] Southern Africa regional hub attendees: Parliaments of Zambia (host), Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa, Zimbabwe, SADC PF Secretariat.

Latin America regional hub attendees: Parliaments of Chile (host), Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Spain, Paraguay.

Southern African hubHispanophone hub

Beta version of the portal

Hispanophone hub

The Hub is working on establishing a dissemination and motivation strategy for the participation of Spanish-speaking Latin American parliaments, which is to result in the realization of a regional meeting (to be announced) to share experiences, in addition to analyzing and evaluating the Hispanophone Hub among regional peers.

The main functionalities of the Hub's online web portal have been defined. This will enable the publication of applications/software and good IT practices. User subscriptions have been added to distribute filtered information according to user profiles; and the beta version has been published on cip.camara.cl. Next steps include the finalization of the platform development and testing; collection of applications and information systems provided by the Chamber of Deputies of Chile to incorporate them into the new site - as part of the Hub’s vision to share information on ICT projects and solutions.

Hispanophone 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

Latin American hub discussions at the 140th IPU Assembly

Hispanophone hub

The Chamber of Deputies of Chile took an active part in the meetings of the Centre for Innovation in Parliament during the 140th IPU Assembly in Doha. The participation of the Chamber’s Honourable President Iván Flores García and Pro-Secretary Luis Rojas further underlined its support for the Centre and the Hispanophone Hub.

The ICT Department of the Chamber of Deputies is working towards finalization of its hub’s online exchange platform. This platform, with features such as knowledge exchange spaces and a forum environment, is expected to be launched during a kick-off meeting with representatives of other Spanish-speaking Latin American parliaments later this year. Also envisaged are discussions among senior ICT staff on information and knowledge sharing needs and requirements within the regional hub, and how this is to be realized through the platform and other working modalities. Representatives of the ICT Department of the Chamber also took part in the May 2019 meeting of the Open Data Hub in Brasilia to learn more about its projects and activities, and to seek synergies and areas of collaboration.

Chilean MPs

Image: Honourable President and the Pro-Secretary of the Chamber of Deputies of Chile at the 140th IPU Assembly, Doha, April 2019. © Parliament of Chile

Hispanophone hub

Building an online platform

Hispanophone hub

The IT department of the Chamber of Deputies is developing an online platform to facilitate knowledge exchange among parliaments within the hub. The Spanish-language platform is expected to go live in the second quarter of 2019.

Hispanophone hub