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The opportunities and risks of using social media was the red line running through the conference. Members on every continent are grappling with ways to make effective use to social networks to engage citizens in authentic conversation about the issues that matter to them.

The presentation by Hon. Motlhale from Botswana was a great demonstration of how parliament can use SMS messages to listen to the people.

More details here

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Since April 2013, constituents from Nata/Gweta, Boteti North, Maun West and South East South have been using the Botswana Speaks platform (U-Speak) to share issues, opinions or to request information from their Members of Parliament.
Botswana Speaks gave a chance to Members of Parliament from those four constituencies to receive input and to reply directly to them via the online platform or via SMS! At the end of the pilot (March 2014) there were 830 cases on U-Speak!

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Success factors:

The pilot phase of the project was initiated as scheduled in April 2013. Since then some interesting outcomes have emerged from the pilot phase in line with the overall objectives of the project:
•    Citizens have shared their views with their MPs;
•    Parliament has made bills and motions available to the public early in the decision-making process (April 2013);
•    Some MPs responded to their constituents’ via the platform;
•    Constituency meetings took place regularly to present the project;
•    Capacity building enhanced throughout the pilot phase;
•    Initiative was very well received at international events.

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An analytical paper on the Botswana Speaks project titled “Inclusive Innovation in Governance: Critical reflections from Botswana” by Somya Joshi, Kheira Belkacem, Vasilis Koulolias and Vasso Zalavra was accepted for the 19th UKAIS Conference on Information Systems in Oxford, UK. It will be presented by Somya Joshi on 9 April. 

This paper will be reworked in line with peer-reviewed comments and additional end user data that has come in during March 2014, to be submitted to a top journal in the field of ICT4D.

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Ready to use toolkit

Posted by on in Project Updates

A ready to use toolkit was created following the validation of the platform. It includes:

·      A version of the latest software used, ready for installation.

·      General documentation for the software.

·      Training modules on Initiative Planning / Initiative Implementation.

·      Training material on Marketing, and relevant promotional material in editable versions.

 

Image courtesy of Keerati / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This tool kit aims at interested local, regional, national African institutions that plan to initiate, implement or finance initiatives to foster participative models towards decision-making who can use it to evaluate, plan and manage those initiatives. 

The link to the toolkit will be available soon.

 

 

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Hon. Odirile Motlhale, Chairman for the Committee on Communications, Works, Transport and Technology, and Member of Parliament (MP) involved in the Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative, has announced during a Committee meeting on 5 February 2014 that the Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative will be rolled-out to all constituencies. Since April 2013, constituents from Nata/Gweta, Boteti North, Maun West and South East South have been using the Botswana Speaks platform to share issues, opinions or to request information from their Members of Parliament. Project partners from eGovlab (University of Stockholm) and Gov2u met with the partners of the Parliament of Botswana in Gaborone to evaluate the initial results of the pilot phase and decided that the pilot would be extended until the end of March 2014 in order to allow more participation and encourage more young people to be involved.

Trying out the platform in Gweta

Botswana_Speaks_Press_Release_20022014_English.docx

Botswana_Speaks_Press_Release_20022014.docx_TRANS.docx

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April 2013 - Nata/Gweta constituents have welcomed the Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Project during its pilot launch, and suggested they be allowed access to the constituency office to relay their grievances.

Kgosi Pelontle Mokgadi of Manxotae settlement, said people failed to utilise Member of Parliaments' constituency offices because of lack of knowledge on its purpose

(photo: Botswana Daily News)

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Although the pilot phase of the initiative was originally scheduled until 10th December 2013, it has been extended until the end of February 2014. Moreover, a final workshop will be organised with eGovlab, Honourable Member of Parliament and the Team in the Parliament in Gaborone in February 2014 to gather impressions and feedback from the pilot phase, and to discuss the sustainability of the project after the pilot.

uspeaklogo

You can be part of Botswana Speaks platform and participate online!

Constituents from Nata/Gweta, Boteti North, Maun West and South East South, can use U-Speak to share an issue, an opinion or request information to their Member of Parliament (MP)!

 

Login now and submit an issue to your MP via the online platform or via SMS and let your MP know your concerns!

Logo-onWhite

 

If you are a citizen of another constituency, you can give your opinion on issues that concern you and legislation that is currently discussed in the Parliament.

Sign in on the Speak4yourself platform and send your input to the MPs who participate in these debates!

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Read the full version of the fifth issue here and find out all project news and upcoming events!

 

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Botswana Speaks: Holiday Greetings

Posted by on in Project Updates

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Caption: Kgosi Moilwa addressing his kgotla in Mogobane. Mrs Elizabeth Monare, Constiuency Officer for South East South (on the left)

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Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative team organizes a kgotla meeting in Otse tomorrow morning at 9:00 (South East South). You are welcome to join!

Come and share your views and opinions!

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"Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative: Paving the Way Towards Better Constituency Services in Botswana" paper was presented by Kheira Belkacem, Assistant Programme Director, presented on September 19th, 2013 from 14 to 15.30 at the Joint Conference of IFIP EGOV 2013 & IFIP ePart 2013.

Proceedings and the paper will be available here

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The Parliament of Botswana was represented at Tshane in Kgalagadi District last month (30-31 August) for the official launch of the “Vision 2016 awareness month”. This event was an opportunity to showcase a wide range of services that Government Departments and private companies render to the community in a mission to align them and demonstrate adherence to the seven pillars of Vision 2016. Therefore, the Parliament’s stall was showcasing the Botswana Speaks, as this initiative deeply contributes in achieving the Vision pillar 5 “An Open, Democratic and Accountable Nation”.

bots-speaks-2_20130920-133705_1.jpg

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"Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative: Paving the Way Towards Better Constituency Services in Botswana" paper will be presented on September 19th, 2013 from 14 to 15.30 during the Joint Conference of IFIP EGOV 2013 & IFIP ePart 2013.

More details will follow in the next days!

Programme of the conference

Website of the conference

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The press release of Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative which was published yesterday appears on ePractice blog!

Check it out here!

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Brussels, 05/09/13 – On Tuesday 27 August 2013, SIDA Programme Manager visited the Parliament of Botswana in order to follow up on the implementation and progress of the Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative so far.

The SIDA representative started her visit by meeting with the Clerk of the National Assembly, Ms Barbara Dithapo. She was informed on the achievements and the remaining challenges of the project. Ms Barbara Dithapo highlighted the Parliament’s commitment to this project, saying that “In Botswana, the majority of citizens don’t vote during General Elections. Botswana Speaks will assist in getting them involved and enhancing our democratic process”, thus emphasizing that the project’s success is of utmost importance for Botswana.

The four Members of Parliament involved in the pilot phase of the Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative, Hon. Rayner Makosha (Nata/Gweta), Hon. Odirile Motlhale (South East South), Hon. Tawana Moremi (Maun West) and Hon. Slumber Tsogwane (Boteti North) also met with the SIDA Programme Manager during the same day. They expressed their satisfaction and gratitude towards the funding opportunity provided by the Swedish Agency.

The full version of the press release is available in English and translated versions!

Botswana_Speaks_Press_Release_05.09.2013_final_ENG.pdf

Botswana_Speaks_Press_Release_05-09-2013_final_TRANS.pdf

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The Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative Team is going to visit all the wards of Maun West constituency this week! All are welcome to attend the following meetings to try out the Botswana Speaks online platform:

 

  • Botshabelo and Boyei: Tuesday 13 August, Sekgoma Primary School, 09:00
  • Kgosing and Kubung: Wednesday 14 August, Mabudutsa Kgotla, 09:00
  • Thitoyamokole: Thursday 15 August, Hall Bombadi, 09:00
  • Komana: Friday 16 August, Komana Primary School, 09:00

 

Come and share your views and opinions with your Member of Parliament!

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The Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative Team at the Parliament of Botswana kicked off a road trip last week to the four piloting constituencies of the project (Nata/Gweta, Boteti North, Maun West, South East South) in order to present the online platform.  Throughout August the citizens of various villages will get the chance to a firsthand experience while they will be informed on how to use it by members of the team along with the assistance of Parliament IT staff.
The Parliament team is going to Boteti North this week.

Here are the venues:

-          Tuesday 6 August: Rakops – Engliton Investments Complex
-          Wednesday 7 August: Moreomaoto – Public Library
-          Thursday 8 August: Mopipi – Marobathutlwa Community Hall

All meetings start at 09:00.

 

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Botswana Speaks online platform goes for a “test drive” with piloting constituencies’ citizens @ Nata/Gweta, Boteti North, Maun West, South East South behind the wheel!

The Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative Team at the Parliament of Botswana kicked off a road trip earlier this week to the four piloting constituencies of the project in order to present the online platform.  Throughout August the citizens of various villages will get the chance to a firsthand experience while they will be informed on how to use it by members of the team along with the assistance of Parliament IT staff.


Laptops equipped with internet modems will be provided by Parliament for public use during the Botswana Speaks tour.  Following a brief presentation of the platform and with the assistance of the Parliament team, citizens will be able to use the platform and send messages to their elected representative.


Read the press releases (English and translated version):

BS_Press_Release_English.doc

BS_Press_Release_TRANS.doc

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