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Activity update of the Centre for Innovation in Parliament (CIP): focus groups; World e Parliament Report and Conference; Steering Committee

Innovation tracker | Issue 8 | 29 Mar 2021
Open Data Hub

Online collaboration board used during the Focus Group meeting organized by the Open Data Hub, hosted by the Chamber of Deputies of Brazil. Credit: Open Data Hub

Focus groups on parliaments’ responses to the pandemic

CIP co-organized four focus groups to explore how parliaments have responded to the pandemic, and to learn more about how this has affected parliamentary innovation. The focus groups were held between 29 January and 3 February and were organized in conjunction with CIP hubs. The groups provided important data for the upcoming World e-Parliament Report, which will be launched at the virtual World e-Parliament Conference on 16–18 June. The meetings were attended by senior IT staff from parliaments, including IT directors, chief information and technology officers, and staff responsible for digital communications. More than 40 parliaments took part.

The meetings revolved around the key theme of understanding how the pandemic has changed parliaments. At the heart of the discussion were four questions on IT, communication and planning:

  1. What have been the biggest challenges for parliamentary administrations?
  2. How have parliaments gone about responding under extraordinary conditions?
  3. How much of the innovation and new practices will be retained after the pandemic?
  4. What lessons have been learned, and how will they affect future planning in parliaments?

The focus groups allowed participants to exchange experiences with their peers in other parliaments by discussing the challenges, and the innovations that parliaments have adopted. The resulting observations and conclusions of these rich discussions will feature in a section of the upcoming World e-Parliament Report dedicated to the COVID-19 pandemic and parliaments’ responses to it.

CIP Steering Committee meets

On 9 March, the CIP Steering Committee met. Participants included thematic and regional hub coordinators, and representatives of the Association of Secretaries General of Parliaments, the European Commission, INTER PARES and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Francophonie. The Steering Committee took stock of the past year’s achievements and reviewed the priorities for 2021. As CIP’s first phase will end in 2021, the Steering Committee reviewed the Centre’s impact, value proposition and future cooperation with hubs. The discussion also brought out key themes for the upcoming virtual World e-Parliament Conference (16–18 June 2021) linked to parliamentary pandemic response and the acceleration of innovation in parliaments.

Contact person: Avinash Bikha, Project Officer at the IPU Centre for Innovation in Parliament –