In a rapidly changing world, parliaments need to be responsive, adapting and revitalizing their practices and processes to meet the challenges of the present and the future, explains the third Global Parliamentary Report by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and United Nations Development Programme.
“Only by moving with the times can parliaments remain relevant to the communities they represent,” the report stated.
NEED OF DIALOGUE
Pointing out the overload of today’s information, the report said that parliaments need to make every effort to be visible. “By offering genuine opportunities for dialogue between people and their elected representatives, parliaments can help to build trust and reinforce their relevance. There should be an emphasis on interacting with and listening to the community, and not just on informing.
Inter-Parliamentary Union Secretary General Martin Chungong said: “Effective public engagement requires a united effort by members of parliament, parliamentary administrations and the community. With a series of recommendations, this report provides practical guidance on the steps that can be taken to bring the people and their parliaments closer together.”
SOME KEY INITIATIVES
Take youth seriously: Young people are a growing proportion of the world’s population. In order to remain relevant to this expanding group, parents need to connect and interact meaningfully with them. Parliaments can enliven their youth engagement by working with young people to co-design charter for youth participation.
Leave no one behind: Parliaments have a special responsibility to ensure that groups that are underrepresented in a country can participate in democratic processes. In order to elevate inclusion to a top priority, parliaments con develop on inclusion action plan working in collaboration with groups currently facing barriers to participation
Transform through technology: New ways of communicating, learning and working are transforming society. In order to keep up with the rapid pace of technological change, parliaments need to prioritize their own digital transformation, particularly in their approaches to public engagement. Encourage innovation: Effective engagement relies on parliament being open to the public and welcoming people’s participation. It demonstrates a willingness to collaborate and co-create with a way to bring about a transformative cultural shift in public engagement.
Work together: Worldwide challenges, transient populations and digital technologies that penetrate national borders all point to a future in which the global community will be increasingly interconnected. This presents an opportunity for parliaments to cooperate and draw on each other’s experiences, methods and solutions. Fostering a community of practice among parliaments will stimulate effective approaches to engagement across the world.
1.Strategic: Embed a culture of engagement across parliament for a united and concerted effort towards broader and better public participation.
2. Inclusive: Make inclusion a priority so that parliament is accessible to all community members.
3. Participatory: Encourage people to participate in setting the agenda through opportunities to influence the issues taken up by parliament.
4.Innovative: Lead with bold and creative approaches that involve and inspire the community to engage with parliament now and into the future.
5. Responsive: Focus on meeting public expectations by listening to community feedback and continually improving.