Citizen's participation

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Strengthening Parliamentary Accountability, Citizen Engagement and Access to Information

Authors: 
Andrew G. Mandelbaum
Publication date: 
September 2011

The National Democracy Institute and the World Bank Institute recently published a report which identifies 190 parliamentary monitoring organizations (PMOs) in over 80 countries, documents good practices in parliamentary monitoring and suggests recommendations for the international donor community in supporting PMOs.  It draws on surveys completed by 63 PMOs, interviews with PMO leaders and representatives of international organizations engaged in supporting PMO activities.

U.S. House of Representatives Videos Now Streaming on Mobile Devices

The streams, available via HouseLive.gov, include videos of proceedings dating back to the start of the 111th Congress. Interested parties can click on “Video” to watch each session. They can also click on “Summary” to view text-only versions of the proceedings. MP3 files are also featured on the page, which notes that Windows Media Player or Silverlight is required to view the videos.

How Citizen Advocacy is Changing Mail Operations on Capitol Hill

Authors: 
Congressional Management Foundation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressional offices are receiving between 200 to 1,000 percent more constituent communications than they were ten years ago. Despite the increase, a survey of congressional staff indicates that 90 percent believe constituent communications remains a "high priority" for the office. But sizable percentages of staff report that their offices are shifting resources to manage the increased demand.

Future Challenges in Network and Information Security

Date: 
Mon, 10/10/2011

The European Union’s cyber security agency, ENISA held a special event to discuss how Europe’s “digital society” can be kept safe for all citizens.

In the UK, Online Petitions Are Gaining Steam

Source: 
techPresident

Launched in August 2011, the UK's online e-petitions initiative allows any British citizen to petition the government for an item to be debated in the House of Commons. If a petition passes muster by government standards and collects over 100,000 signatures within a year, then it becomes due for debate in Parliament during time set aside for "backbencher debates" — discourse between lawmakers who don't have a government portfolio or a prominent spot in the opposition, set up through a new committee in the Commons.

We the People: Announcing White House Petitions & How They Work

Source: 
The White House Blog
The White House unveiled plans for a new online petition system called “We the People.” Using the new service at whitehouse.gov, citizens will be able to create petitions and use email and social media to gather support. If a petition gathers enough support, it will be reviewed and answered by White House policy staff.

Half the public don’t know and don’t care about Parliament

Source: 
Hansard Society

Connecting Citizens to Parliament - research from the Hansard Society published today - demonstrates that half the public (52%) are not really interested in Parliament and do not want to be involved in what it does. The research explores which communities and social groups are not engaging with Parliament, why and how this might be redressed.

Secretary Clinton and Brazilian Foreign Minister to Launch Open Government Partnership on July 12

Source: 
U.S. Department of State

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota will announce the Open Government Partnership (OGP) at a high-level meeting of governments and civil society at the Department of State on July 12, 2011. The Open Government Partnership is a new, multilateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.

First High-level meeting of the Open Government Partnership

Date: 
Tue, 12/07/2011

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a new international initiative aimed at securing concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, increase civic participation, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to make government more open, effective, and accountable. A multi-stakeholder International Steering Committee, co-chaired by the United States and Brazil in its inaugural year, is comprised of government and civil society representatives from around the world.

Tech-savvy Iceland online for new constitution

Source: 
Associated Press
How do you write a new constitution in the 21st century? You go where the people are - online. That was the decision of tiny but tech-savvy Iceland, which is overhauling its constitution in the wake of an economic catastrophe, and has turned to the Internet to get input from citizens. The 25-member council drafting the new constitution is reaching out to Icelanders online, especially through social media sites Facebook and Twitter, video-sharing site YouTube and photo site Flickr.

WeGov

Funded with support from the European Commission, the WeGov project aims to develop a toolset that leverages a wide range of existing and well established social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, Bebo, WordPress etc.) to engage citizens in two-way dialogs as part of governance and policymaking processes. The tools will make it possible to detect, track and mine opinions and discussions on policy oriented topics.

Take Action Panel

Source: 
Vitamina Pubblica

Take Action Panel took place in Rome, on 7 February. Around 50 people attended the event, and 100 followed the livestreaming, kindly implemented by the U.S. Embassy to Italy. The Head of Global Centre for ICT in Parliament, Mr. Gherardo Casini, presented results of the last e-Parliament report. Assuming “new technologies are dramatically changing the political environment”, Mr. Casini explored strenghts and weaknesses of new forms of interaction between MPs and civil society: “the problem is that Parliaments are not falimiar with technologies, and citizens are not familiar with the legislative process”. However, effective case studies and positive results were presented – such as Chile.

U.K. Parliament Begins to Digitise Lawmaking

Source: 
E-Government Bulletin Live
U.K. House of Commons administration officials have confirmed they are to standardise digital data relating to the passing of new laws, in a move that could “engage millions of people with what goes on inside Parliament”, one analyst has told E-Government Bulletin.
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