Digital and social technologies have produced and supported deep changes in the operational environment and cultural landscape of parliaments. The digital parliament is now a living entity, directly linked to those it serves in ways that were hard to imagine just a few years ago.
Parliaments are now more open and outward-looking. 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 connect more often and more easily with members and parliaments. Making documentation and content more available is a critical trend too, whether this is through web-based technologies or open-source data.
The IPU is working on a new edition of the World e-Parliament Report. You can access the survey here.
However, the 2016 World e-Parliament Report revealed significant divergence in parliamentary openness and transparency, depending on income levels and the ability to access digital resources. Increasing digital complexity and the rapid emergence of new tools and methods have left parliaments in low-income countries consistently less likely or able to keep pace with change.
We are helping parliaments to address the challenges in the digital era by conducting research, publishing guidelines and providing expert advice on the use of information and communications technologies (ICTs).
In all this, we should not lose sight of the underlying challenge: to help people understand the role and work of parliaments, using whatever channels—offline or online—are most suitable in a particular context.
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