Digital Legislative and the Parliament in times of social isolation

The crisis caused by Covid-19 brings new challenges for digitalisation, mobility, and makes us question new ways of living in a society based on knowledge. The most severe global crisis of the 21st century requires responses with modern tools and methodologies. This issue is even more complicated in the case of legislative processes and consensus-building.

The legislative work is fundamental during a crisis. Digital transformation experiments, extensive processes of knowledge building and testing are essential for innovation in public administration. How can representative institutions use technologies to keep running in times of social isolation? How can this process become a catalyst for post-crisis digital transformation? Is it possible to structure an international interparliamentary regime to foster collaboration between these entities?

Parliaments have adopted tools such as virtual plenaries and remote voting in order to keep the legislative process going during the pandemic. While this has come with challenges in terms of adaptation, it also allows a stronger connection with civil society and the parliamentarians’ electorate. These new tools will not replace human interactions in the long run, but they contribute to finding new ways for a greater inclusion of citizens in the legislative process as well as enabling more interactions with actors located in different parts of the world.

As Luiz Fernando Bandeira de Mello noted, in times of crisis parliaments cannot stop and the Brazilian Senate quickly integrated technological tools to continue functioning completely remotely. Even though not all parliaments have the same means and expertise to implement these practices, organizations such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and ParlAmericas allow for global (and regional) discussions on best practices and sharing experiences.  In fact, since the beginning of the pandemic parliaments have gotten in touch with each other and relevant organizations in order to understand what has worked elsewhere and how it was implemented in the most secure and transparent manner.

This is exactly the challenge this webinar tackled and which will be presented to representatives all over the world: How to connect with and represent constituents using online tools? The next webinars of the Legistech series, organized by Bússola Tech in collaboration with swissnex Brazil, will address these and many other issues aiming at helping and improving the legislative work in the future.


Luis Kimaid is a political scientist and internationalist. Co-founder and CEO of Bússola Tech, an organisation created in 2017. He developed the concept of LegisTech and organised the first event in this area globally. He founded and led Google’s Risk Management and Compliance Latin America team. He worked on digital transformation projects in the public sector at the priority project financing unit in the State of São Paulo and was the organiser of a series of civic movements, such as Virada Politica.

Victor Araújo is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the chair of Political Economy and Development of the University of Zurich. He studies comparative politics, voting behavior, and statistical learning. Before joining UZH, Araújo received a Ph.D. in political science from the University of São Paulo, Brazil. He was a visiting scholar at Duke University (USA), and the Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica e Aplicada (IPEA, Brazil). He also was a visiting professor at the Centro de Formação, Treinamento e Aperfeiçoamento da Câmara dos  Deputados (CEFOR), where he taught on how to apply big data and machine learning to analyze Legislative data.

Luiz Fernando Bandeira de Mello is Secretary General of the Federal Senate and National Advisor to the Public Prosecutor’s Office. He holds a Master’s degree in Administrative Law from the Federal University of Pernambuco and a PhD in Law from the University of Salamanca – Spain. He has lectured at several universities in Brazil in undergraduate and graduate courses. He is a Senate server in his career as a legislative consultant and previously held the positions of Senate Advocate General, Senate Director General, Chief of Staff of the Senate Presidency and the Minister of Social Security. He was also Legal Consultant to the Ministry of Social Security.

Natalí Casanova is a Peruvian political scientist with studies and specializations in public policy and monitoring and evaluation of projects and programs. Experience in citizen participation, transparency, open parliament and parliamentary processes in multicultural contexts for more than 5 years. Currently, senior program officer of the Open Parliament Program at ParlAmericas.

Watch the recording of the webinar bellow: