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IPU Innovation Tracker

The quarterly electronic bulletin from the Centre for Innovation in Parliament

Issue 5

Welcome to the fifth edition of the Innovation Tracker. Parliaments are finding ways of working in spite of the lockdown, as we can see through the examples from the parliaments of Maldives and Spain. There is also a roundup of parliamentary working methods during the pandemic and a look at how we can safeguard elections in the digital age. 

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 [email protected].

Innovation in parliamentary working methods

Parliamentary working methods during the coronavirus pandemic

Parliaments in Brazil, Spain and the Maldives have developed innovative ways to run virtual plenaries; others are testing this out. The coronavirus pandemic demands that parliaments look for more innovative ways to keep operating. A crisis can be an opportunity for innovation but there are also some major challenges on the road to remote parliament and no instant digital solutions.
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How the Parliament of Maldives built a virtual chamber

We often associate leadership in digital innovation with the big parliaments but the Maldivian Parliament shows us that being small means you can also be agile and responsive. With a strong ICT strategic planning process already in place and a pragmatic agreement that existing parliamentary rules are sufficient to run the parliament virtually, it has become one of the first in the world to host a virtual plenary during the coronavirus crisis. In this article, the People’s Majlis explains how it took a range of already available software applications and brought its members together remotely, enabling debates and voting, whilst retaining the ability to broadcast proceedings.
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Transforming the Spanish Senate

The Senate of Spain has been building a digital parliament, gradually implementing solutions and updating regulations and procedures. This transformational project has required a continuous redesign of procedures, of the organization and of its culture. The five-phase project commenced in 2015 and is ongoing. It aims to modernize the physical technology infrastructure, establish a parliamentary information system, enhance transparency and citizen-oriented services online, transform parliament’s way of working and roll out a core set of applications across the whole estate.
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Parliamentary action on tech trends

Safeguarding elections in the digital age

Social media might not be the cause of our current democratic challenges but they exacerbate and intensify them to dangerous levels. This is one of the key findings of the Annan Commission on Elections and Democracy in the Digital Age, which calls for urgent action by governments, business and civil society to protect democracy from digital threats. The Commission’s new report sets out actionable recommendations to deal with polarization, hate speech, disinformation, political advertising and foreign interference.
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