New technologies have had a major impact on the operational environment and cultural landscape of parliaments. A parliament that harnesses the power of new digital tools can now connect with those it represents in ways that were hard to imagine just a few years ago. The internal systems within parliaments are stronger and the processes they use, while still challenged, are steadily improving. Social networks are important tools, allowing citizens to engage more easily with members and parliaments.
The new Centre for Innovation in Parliament is a partnership between the IPU and parliaments to support parliamentary innovation through improved use of digital tools. The Centre was publicly launched at the World e-Parliament Conference in December 2018 with the support of a core group of parliaments: Brazil, Chile, Portugal, Zambia, and the European Parliament.
The Centre provides a platform for parliaments to develop and share good practices in digital transformation strategies, and practical methods for building capacity in areas such as:
- strategic planning of digital tools and services;
- parliamentary openness, open standards and open data;
- citizen engagement in the work of parliament;
- internet and social media;
- electronic document and records management; and
- digital library and research services.
The Centre is composed of a Secretariat, managed by the IPU; parliamentary hubs, managed by host parliaments; and a Steering Committee that provides strategic advice to the Centre.
How to participate
Four levels of partnership are available to parliaments, parliamentary strengthening organizations, donors and other relevant organizations.
Keystone partners host hubs within the Centre and/or provide core funding to the Centre. Keystone Partners are directly involved in the strategic governance and direction of the Centre through membership of the Steering Committee.
Funding partners contribute financial resources to the Centre, and take a more background role in terms of governance.
Supporting partners provide in-kind support, for example, secondment of staff to participate in the work of the Centre for a period of time, on a per-project basis or for short-term assignments, such as for inter-parliamentary support.
Project partners participate in individual projects within the Centre.
Key activities of the Centre are distributed to regional and thematic hubs, located within host parliaments. Regional hubs bring together parliaments from the same region or sub-region, and normally address a range of issues of common interest. Thematic hubs bring together parliaments from different regions that share a common interest in working on a specific issue, such as Information and Communication Technology (ICT) governance or open data. Hubs act with a high degree of autonomy within the Centre’s network.
ICT Governance thematic hub
An online learning platform for parliaments to support a wide development of maturity in IT governance. Host: European Parliament. Participating parliaments: any parliament.
Inter-Parliamentary Cloud thematic hub
Aims to create a portal to pull together open data from multiple parliaments to create new ways for researchers and parliaments to analyze and improve the law. Host: Chamber of Deputies of Brazil. Participating parliaments: must have an operating open data website that exposes data in a structured machine-readable open format (XML, JSON, CSV, etc.).
Latin America regional hub
To share technological tools, software developed by the parliaments, free access third party software, documentation, and information on real cases. Host: Chamber of Deputies of Chile. Participating parliaments: any parliament in Latin America.
Southern Africa regional hub
To promote effective use of technology in parliaments by sharing and consolidating information on past, ongoing and future ICT initiatives. Host: National Assembly of Zambia. Participating parliaments: any parliament in Southern Africa.
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