The World e-Parliament Report 2020 documents the experiences, innovations and lessons learned in making sure parliaments continued to function during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report is based on data from 116 parliaments and focus groups involving 49 parliaments. Part one of the Report presents the lessons from the pandemic. Part two provides a detailed analysis of the overall ICT situation in parliaments in 2020 in the areas of governance, management, systems and infrastructure, transparency and public engagement.
As challenging and devastating as this time has been, it has also acted as a catalyst for digital innovation and modernization. By the end of 2020, 65% of the parliaments surveyed had held virtual or hybrid committee meetings and 33% had held a virtual or hybrid plenary meeting.
Parliaments need to continue embracing this opportunity to modernize their core operations, reviewing their strategic and business continuity planning in the light of their experiences and those of others.
As supported by this research, parliaments should consider a number of ways to build on the innovations made and realize their advantages:
- Permanently amend their regulations or governing legislation so that parliaments can function seamlessly, unconfined to a single physical location.
- Continue or expand flexible participation for members and the public, particularly in committees.
- Proactively maintain and adapt efficiency gains.
- Approach ICT more holistically through an institution-wide digital strategy mainstreamed into the wider fabric and culture of parliament.
- Review and update business continuity plans to capture and embed lessons learned the previous year through enhanced knowledge management practices.
- Develop flexible work arrangements for staff and remote participation for members, determining the ICT infrastructure needed to support them.
- Promote inter-parliamentary collaboration to accelerate innovation, save time and money, share good practices and increase mutual support between parliaments.
Download the World e-Parliament Report 2020