Digital Transformation

5 min

Embracing Digitalization and Ensuring Broad Participation in Legislative Processes


Strategic Partners



The digitalization of legislative processes has been a critical topic of discussion among political and civil society leaders, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. As governments and parliaments across the world shifted to remote deliberation systems, the need to ensure inclusive participation and maintain transparency has become increasingly important. In a conversation featuring Carolina Venuto, President of ABRIG (Association of Brazilian Lobbyists), former Brazilian Senator Antonio Anastasia, and U.S. Congressman James McGovern, the participants shared their perspectives on adapting remote deliberation systems, promoting transparency, and constituent involvement through technology.


Adapting Remote Deliberation System for Inclusive Participation


Carolina Venuto highlighted the challenges associated with the digitalization process in the Brazilian Parliament. She emphasized the need to adapt the remote deliberation system to ensure broad participation from various sectors of society, including lobbyists and organized civil society groups. Venuto questioned how to provide equal, transparent, and democratic participation in a more digital lawmaking process and sought alternative solutions to ensure that organized civil society can present their technical contributions to decision-makers effectively.


The Growing Importance of Digital Processes in the Legislative Process


Former Brazilian Senator Antonio Anastasia shared his views on the growing importance of digital processes in the legislative process. He acknowledged Brazil’s progress in this area before the pandemic and how the Brazilian Congress has been seen as a model for digital participation in legislative processes. Anastasia emphasized the need to address technological infrastructure issues to ensure that all groups, including those in remote areas, can access and participate in the legislative process. He argued that an open, transparent, and participatory Congress is essential for democracy and suggested that advancements in technology could help facilitate this process by bridging the digital divide and allowing more inclusive participation.


Promoting Transparency and Constituent Involvement Through Technology


U.S. Congressman James McGovern discussed the role of technology in promoting transparency and enabling greater communication between elected officials and their constituents. He mentioned how technology has transformed the way constituents communicate with their representatives, shifting from traditional mail to emails and various online platforms. McGovern also recognized technology’s importance during the pandemic, which allowed the government to continue functioning remotely. He suggested that legislators should consider which remote capabilities should be preserved beyond the pandemic to improve access and transparency, such as remote hearings that enable testimonies from people worldwide without the need for in-person attendance.




The insights shared by Carolina Venuto, Antonio Anastasia, and James McGovern emphasize the importance of ensuring that all groups, including organized civil society, can participate in the legislative process in a digitalized world. The advancement of technology provides opportunities for increased transparency, communication, and access. However, addressing technological infrastructure issues is essential to guarantee that everyone can engage in the process. As the world continues to embrace digitalization, it is crucial to adapt legislative systems to ensure a more open, transparent, and participatory democracy.

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