Emerging Trends for ICT in Parliaments

This discussion paper  (ICT IN PARLIAMENTS- CURRENT PRACTICES, FUTURE POSSIBILITIES by Jeff griffith) is a background paper for the World e-Parliament Conference 2007 on 11 October 2007 in Geneva, Switzerland. It describes briefly the history of ICT in legislative bodies,summarizes current practices, assesses the potential impact of some of the newest technologies and trends, considers some of the key requirements for the successful introduction and management of ICT, and underlines the importance of ICT in  parliaments.

While all of the paper is an interesting read (especially the section on current practices if you are not familiar with them), of particular interest to me is the section that predicts there new developments and emerging trends that might have the biggest impact on ICT in Parliament in the near future:

  • Interactive Technologies and Web 2.0- The newest Web technologies encourage user generated content and participation.

  • Open Standards and Open Source Software- Proprietary systems and software will remain in operation for some time, but there is a strong movement toward the use of open standards and the sharing of open source software.

  • Collaborative Development of Parliamentary Applications- While institutions may be cautious about investing in and accepting systems and software to support their most important functions if they are not developed and maintained under their direct control, development of a collaborative platform or application that can be customized might possibly be a trend. 

  • The Mobile Legislator- ICT allows legislators to be more mobile. Cell phones, lightweight portable PCs, small hand held computers such as personal digital assistants and email devices, coupled with the increasing ubiquity of the Web, enable Members to conduct their work from many locations and with many people.

  • Developments in regional and international Parliaments- The success of regional or international efforts is likely to put additional pressure on national parliaments to adopt some of the same approaches in their use of ICT.

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