Launched by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) in cooperation with the Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU) on the occasion of the World Summit of the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis in November 2005, the Global Centre for Information and Communication Technologies in Parliament responds to the common desire to build a people-centred, inclusive and development-oriented information society, where legislatures are empowered to better fulfil their constitutional functions through Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).
The Global Centre for ICT in Parliament acts as a clearing house for information, research, innovation, technology and technical assistance, and promotes a structured dialogue among parliaments, centres of excellence, international organizations, the civil society, the private sector and the donor community, with the purpose to enhance the sharing of experiences, the identification of best practices and the implementation of appropriate solutions.
- Foster the introduction of ICT in parliaments to increase transparency and effectiveness and strengthen their central role as promoters of good governance and democracy;
- Reinforce the role of parliaments in establishing the legislative frameworks required for the development of sustainable ICT policies and an inclusive Information Society;
- Increase citizens' access to parliaments activities and documentation, thereby improving openness and accountability in legislatures;
- Find new modalities of coordination between the international community and parliaments in supporting ICT-related initiatives, both in their research and operational aspects.
In order to achieve these objectives, the Global Centre focuses its activities on three main areas of work:
- Analysis and research
The analytical and research activities of the Global Centre for ICT in Parliament focus on gathering, systematizing, and assessing available research and technical solutions to make optimal use of ICT in Parliament, both with respect to the lawmaking process and as a means to communicate and interact with the electorate.
The Global Centre also seeks to launch joint research and impact evaluation initiatives with outside institutions on emerging topics related to ICT that could benefit legislatures' effectiveness, efficiency and openness.
- Networking and coordination
Legislative development assistance is a growing field witnessing the involvement of a host of bilateral and multilateral agencies, legislative/parliamentary associations, non-governmental organizations and institutions, and centres of excellence undertaking activities of international cooperation most of the time in an uncoordinated manner. The high level of fragmentation of these initiatives and the lack of information on their objectives and results are preventing legislatures from reinforcing their beneficial effects and from leveraging the capabilities of the international system to integrate them with opportunities offered by interregional cooperation and exchange.
The Global Centre for ICT in Parliament seeks to facilitate the mapping of activities and to enhance the possibility for experience sharing across legislatures in order to promote coordination at the national and global levels.
- Technical Assistance
The introduction of well-planned ICT applications in legislatures, by enhancing Parliament information and knowledge-management capacity, can help improve both the policy-making and legislative process and the internal and external exchange and dissemination of information. The Global Centre, in collaboration with partnering institutions, provides advisory services directed at supporting parliaments to develop: Parliament e-readiness analyses; user and system requirement analyses; ICT strategies and operational plans; organizational reengineering and new working methods; parliament interoperability frameworks and pilot projects.
- The Global Centre for ICT in Parliament is an initiative of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) with the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).
- The work of the Global Centre is guided by a Board composed of Speakers and Presidents of Parliaments, the President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs.
- The management and implementation of the work programme is carried out under the leadership of the Executive Coordinator who serves as the Secretary of the Board.
- The Global Centre operates from Rome (Italy) with specialized and dedicated staff focusing on analysis and research, capacity building and skills development, advocacy and networking, and integration of new technologies in parliamentary practices.
- Join the Global Network of IT Experts in Parliament and meet your peers from around the world to exchange thoughts and ideas on best practices and solutions.
- Support the work of Global Centre by sharing your knowledge and experience, by providing documentation and legislation or by directly contributing to its Resource Centre.
- Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to know more about the Global Centre and its initiatives and to learn what the Global Centre can do for your institution.