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Day 2: Trends in citizen input to the work of parliament, Ms. Rebecca Rumbul, Head of Research, MySociety


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Numerous participatory processes are being developed in law-making. What are the most effective ways to connect parliaments and citizens? To what extent do these processes address the digital divide within countries, which leaves many men and women feeling angry and excluded from the political process?

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Day 2: Trends in citizen input to the work of parliament, Ms. Rebecca Rumbul, Head of Research, MySociety

  1. 1. World e-Parliament Conference 2016 #eParliament 28-30 June 2016 // Chamber of Deputies of Chile // Valparaiso Citizen-centered digital tools Dr Rebecca Rumbul / Head of Research, mySociety
  2. 2. The rise of ‘PMO’ sites Alternatives to official parliamentary websites  ‘PMOs’ are alternative sources of parliamentary information and data  Majority of sites are built using data parliaments and governments are making digitally available  Aim of such sites is to make parliamentary information more readily available
  3. 3. PMO sites compared Kenya, South Africa, UK, USA, India  UK  South Africa  Kenya  USA
  4. 4. What do people want to know? Citizens are demanding more information!  Biographical information on individual politicians, including work experience and financial interests  Contact information  Individual politicians voting history and policy position  What is being said during parliamentary debates
  5. 5. Why are PMO sites effective? Aren’t they just repackaging data that is already out there?  PMO sites tend to be built by frustrated citizens/NGOs with digital expertise  They tend to package data in a way that is more logical to the user, rather than the institution  They are able to package data from multiple sources  They add narrative and context to data  Used widely by infomediaries
  6. 6. Q: Do you believe that being able to see this information enables you to hold politicians/government to account?
  7. 7. There are digital pitfalls . . . Elite capture is a significant potential issue  Users of PMO sites in UK / USA are clearly more educated, older and more affluent than the general populations  Users in Kenya / South Africa are younger, but still comparatively educated/wealthy  Usage differs geographically  The existence of these sites can fundamentally change parliamentary behaviour
  8. 8. PMO Users: Gender Breakdown
  9. 9. PMO Users: Educational Achievement
  10. 10. PMO Users: Employment Sector
  11. 11. How can we do better? And how can we do it together?  Communication and collaboration between parliaments and PMOs can be mutually beneficial  Parliaments and PMOs that work together can create better tools for citizens  Awareness of the digital divide and its potential impact can ensure all organisations work and innovate together to eliminate it
  12. 12.