Crisis-Driven Innovation: Technological Adaptations in Bahrain's Shura Council Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic
About the Shura Council of Bahrein. Written on March, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic presented an unprecedented challenge to governance structures worldwide. Among the most affected were legislative bodies, which faced a sudden need to shift from traditional in-person meetings to remote operations. This essay explores how the Shura Council in Bahrain adapted to this new reality, focusing on the role of the IT department in overcoming operational hurdles and fostering innovation.
The onset of the pandemic brought two primary challenges to the forefront. The first was the accessibility to essential internal systems. The Council's in-house infrastructure, which was critical for internal voting and document reviews, was not equipped for remote access. This lack of adaptability severely hampered the Council's ability to function efficiently during lockdowns.
The second challenge was the varying levels of technological literacy among the Council's Members of Parliament (MPs). The sudden need to transition to digital platforms was a daunting task for those not familiar with such technology. This variance in technical skills further complicated matters, affecting the MPs' ability to review documents, vote, and fully participate in the legislative process.