Digital Transformation

5 min

A Case Study on the Digital Transformation Journey of the National Assembly of Zambia

National Asssembly of Zambia

Strategic Partners


This paper delves into the digital transformation journey of the National Assembly of Zambia, highlighting the significant efforts made to integrate technology into its operations. The transformation has been instrumental in revolutionising the technological landscape of this essential parliamentary institution, enhancing its capabilities and services, thereby increasing its reach and effectiveness.


Setting the Stage for Transformation

In the initial stages, the National Assembly of Zambia recognised the importance of technology and its potential to drive significant advancements. To that end, an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) department was established, marking the first significant step towards a digitally integrated parliamentary system. The department’s primary role was to spearhead the various developments planned for the National Assembly and translate them into reality.


A key part of this stage involved identifying the necessary activities that would underpin the transformation process. Recognising the enormity of the task, the management decided to partner with external stakeholders to develop a comprehensive plan. This partnership led to the development of a critical document that would serve as a roadmap for implementing the digital transformation for the National Assembly of Zambia.


The ICT Master Plan: 2010 – 2015


The ICT Master Plan, developed in 2009, was a blueprint that guided the development and adoption of ICTs for the National Assembly from 2010 to 2015. This document was a linchpin in the transformation process, marking the transition from conventional methods to a tech-driven approach.


During the implementation of the Master Plan, the ICT department made significant strides in improving the technological infrastructure. One of the main achievements was the installation of upgraded equipment within the parliamentary chamber. This upgrade involved a multi-media system that facilitated more effective communication and coordination within the assembly.


Expanding the Reach: Parliament Radio and TV


Another significant achievement was the expansion of Parliament Radio’s coverage. In a developing country like Zambia, not everyone has access to internet services. The radio, therefore, served as an essential tool for communication, ensuring that parliamentary proceedings reached even the most remote rural areas. This expansion was a game-changer, allowing for broader dissemination of parliamentary proceedings and increasing public engagement with the assembly’s activities.


Building on the success of Parliament Radio, there was a subsequent need to establish a Parliament TV channel. The creation of the Parliament TV studio marked another milestone in the digital transformation journey. Now fully operational, Parliament TV not only broadcasts on local carriers but also streams content online, including on its Facebook page and satellite TV, further increasing its reach.


Infrastructure Development and Data Management


The digital transformation also encompassed significant infrastructure development. The National Assembly’s ICT infrastructure, particularly the servers, were obsolete. To address this, the assembly created its own data centre, effectively setting up a private cloud. This cloud now hosts most of the services run by the institution, showcasing the assembly’s ability to adapt to modern data management practices.


Recognising the importance of data security and recovery, data recovery sites were also established. Alongside this, the parliament website underwent a re-engineering process to meet the institution’s needs more effectively. The introduction of electronic payslips and order papers further streamlined processes, reducing the cost of printing for the institution.


Challenges and Lessons

Despite the significant achievements, the journey was not without challenges. The ambitious ICT Master Plan achieved only a 26% success rate after evaluation, primarily due to lack of funding and the limited involvement of members of parliament and staff during its formulation. These challenges necessitated a review of the strategic plan, leading to the development of a new one in 2019 with broader stakeholder involvement.



The digital transformation journey of the National Assembly of Zambia offers valuable insights into the potential of technology in enhancing the operations of parliamentary institutions. The journey, though fraught with challenges, has yielded substantial results. Notable achievements include the establishment of the ICT department, the development and implementation of the ICT Master Plan, the expansion of Parliament Radio, the creation of Parliament TV, and the upgrade of the assembly’s ICT infrastructure.

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