Digital Transformation

5 min

Redefining Government: An Analysis of Interlegis and the Evolution of Brazil's Legislative Modernisation

Senado Federal do Brasil

Strategic Partners



This essay explores the Interlegis Programme in Brazil, an initiative rooted in the transformative power of digital technology, and its impact on the country’s legislative modernisation, transparency, and integration. The Interlegis Programme represents a significant milestone in legislative modernisation, serving as one of the oldest digital transformation programs worldwide.


History and Evolution of Interlegis Programme


The Interlegis Programme began approximately 25 years ago as an extension programme linked to a government school. Initially, in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank, the focus was to provide computers and internet access to municipal chambers across Brazil, a daunting task in the late 90s. This initial phase was underpinned by three core pillars: modernisation, integration, and legislative transparency.


However, by 2010-2011, given the ubiquity of the internet and relative ease of computer acquisition, the programme began a shift, focusing more on digital transformation, capacity building, and informational support.


Current Focus: Capacity Building and Digital Transformation


Today, the Interlegis Programme focuses on two main fronts. First, it concentrates on training and capacity-building, leveraging the Senate’s expertise to deliver essential knowledge to municipal chambers and legislative assemblies. This focus includes significant themes such as governance, social issues, gender and racial equity, and sustainability.


Secondly, the programme has evolved to concentrate on digital transformation, arguably one of the world’s oldest initiatives in the legislative context. Its strategy, since around 2012, has been to develop products and software designed to aid legislative bodies in their digital transformation journeys, predominantly regarding modernisation, transparency, and integration.


Development of Open Source Solutions


The Interlegis Programme works on the development of open-source solutions to help the legislative bodies in their digital transformation journey. This initiative represents an effort towards democratising digital technology and promoting transparency. Notably, these solutions are free, and they’re optimised for a range of scenarios, considering the diverse needs of different legislative bodies.


One major aspect of this initiative is the offer of secure hosting for these open-source products in the Senate’s IT infrastructure. This approach tackles two main challenges: cost and data security. It provides significant savings for legislative bodies that would otherwise need to procure and maintain expensive IT infrastructure. Moreover, by hosting the data in the Senate’s infrastructure, it eliminates potential contractual issues and ensures that sensitive data is stored securely.




The Interlegis Programme, over its 25-year existence, has significantly contributed to the modernisation of Brazil’s legislative bodies. Its shift towards a more digitally focused approach in the 2010s has cemented its status as one of the world’s oldest digital transformation initiatives within a legislative context. Its current focus on capacity building and the development of open-source solutions continues to uphold its core pillars of modernisation, integration, and legislative transparency. The initiative stands as a beacon of progressive and forward-thinking government practice. Its success offers valuable insights for similar endeavours worldwide.

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