Digital Transformation in Parliament: A Case Study on Remote Deliberation Systems
About the Senado Federal of Brazil. Written on September, 2021
The advent of the digital age has been transformative for various sectors, including governance. Parliaments around the world have been integrating technology into their operations, albeit at different paces. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated this digital transformation, particularly in the realm of remote deliberations. This essay will critically analyse the Brazilian Senate's journey in implementing remote deliberation systems during the pandemic, focusing on the challenges and lessons that could be instructive for legislative bodies worldwide.
The Imperative for Digital Transformation
Before the pandemic, there was already a concerted effort to integrate technology into parliamentary procedures. However, the pandemic made this an immediate necessity, forcing even the most technologically averse institutions to adapt quickly. The primary challenge was not only to make the technology available but also to ensure that it was accessible and easy to use for parliamentarians. Initial efforts were more focused on usability rather than security or legal aspects, given the urgent need to maintain legislative functions.