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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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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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iMENTORS goes live and is one step closer to becoming the most comprehensive crowdsourcing map on ICT infrastructures in Sub-Saharan Africa! Register and create your profile on the platform. Do not forget to send us your feedback on the beta version of the platform!

Check out the map now: www.imentors.eu/map.html

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The Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative is now running its pilot phase and all Batswana are invited to sign up, to view ongoing polls, to discuss and debate issues that concern them!

These past months have been very fruitful for the project. Among other activities undertaken, the initiative was successfully presented in various international conferences in Africa, United States and Europe and a lot of interest and visibility was raised. Concurrently, meetings with local authorities in the four pilot constituencies were on focus during this period as a way to raise awareness about the launch of the pilot phase. Media outlets in Botswana like Mmegi and Daily News covered the launch of the pilot phase and qualified Botswana Speaks as an interactive platform that leads to better constituency services.

Enjoy our newsletter issue and get updated on the project’s news, upcoming events and other relevant news! Stay always abreast of the project’s news by following us on social media!

The latest issue is available here

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The Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative is now running its pilot phase and all Batswana are invited to sign up, to view ongoing polls, to discuss and debate issues that concern them!

These past months have been very fruitful for the project. Among other activities undertaken, the initiative was successfully presented in various international conferences in Africa, United States and Europe and a lot of interest and visibility was raised. Concurrently, meetings with local authorities in the four pilot constituencies were on focus during this period as a way to raise awareness about the launch of the pilot phase. Media outlets in Botswana like Mmegi and Daily News covered the launch of the pilot phase and qualified Botswana Speaks as an interactive platform that leads to better constituency services.

Enjoy our newsletter issue and get updated on the project’s news, upcoming events and other relevant news! Stay always abreast of the project’s news by following us on social media!

The latest issue is available here

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These are the ongoing polls on Speak4Yourself! Sign in, select your constituency on the map and share your opinion! 

  • Botswana Land Policy
  • Botswana National Policy on HIV and AIDS
  • Banking (Amendment) Bill
  • One-Stop Border Posts Bill
  • Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill

Check out more polls ...and stay tuned!

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The Public Service Day is a two-day annual event. On the 13th of June, activities including ministries stalls exhibitions were held at Fairgrounds Holdings, Gaborone. As the theme for this year is “E-GOVERNMENT; KEY TO EFFICIENT AND EFFECTIVE SERVICE DELIVERY”, the Parliament of Botswana decided to showcase the Botswana Speaks platform on its stall.


During the whole day, the stall received a large number of visitors willing to discover the platform, including Hon. Mokgwetsi Masisi, Minister of State President. Indeed, Botswana Speaks is very much anchored in the National E-Government Strategy which is a priority for the Government of Botswana, as emphasized by the Minister in his keynote address:

"The potential of e-Government, however, goes much further, for it also enables Government to connect citizens, and perhaps of even greater significance its citizens to connect with their Government, for 24/7 interface and service delivery. In the process it offers greater efficiency and cost savings for Government and citizens alike. But for e-Government to deliver on its potential there is an urgent need for a radical transformation of how Government works and ultimately how society relates to Government. This will require the application of new ways of thinking as well as new information and communication technologies".

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Mmegi published yesterday an article on the fact that the Parliament of Botswana has launched the Botswana Speaks website, a pilot participatory initiative that will allow the public to interact with their elected representatives online and via Short Messasing System (sms).

Speaking at a press conference on Monday ahead of the launch South East South MP, who also chairs the Parliamentary Committee on Works, Transport and ICT, Odirile Motlhale said some of the objectives of the project are to get citizens better connected with their representatives and to give citizens opportunities to get involved with the national decision-making process.

"It will allow the public to participate in debates going on in Parliament. Say Parliament is debating a bill, the public will be able to comment on it using either the website or sms," Motlhale said.Motlhale said the project, which cost over P6 million, is part of Parliament's e-parliament strategy, which encourages the use of ICT to better serve electorates.

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Botswana Speaks platform on Daily News

Posted by on in Project Updates

An article was published yesterday on Daily News announcing the launch of the platform and the training for MPs.
Four MPs, Mr Rayner Makosha, Mr Tawana Moremi, Mr Slumber Tsogwane and Mr Odirile Motlhale from the constituencies Nata/Gweta, Maun West,  Boteti North and South East South respectively as well as citizens from the constituencies will participate in the project. 

The chairperson of the Communications, Works, Transport and ICT committee in Parliament, Mr Odirile Motlhale said members of the public would be offered an opportunity to ask questions and request action from their MPs.
“We are going to have a paperless government, but an e-government,” Mr Makosha said.


Clich here to see a scan from the document published yesterday Daily-News-April-10-page-12.pdf

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You come from Nata/Gweta, Boteti North, Maun West or South East South?

Use U-Speak to share an issue, an opinion or request information to your Member of Parliament. You can either submit an issue on the online platform or send it via SMS!

Botswana Speaks gives a chance to Members of Parliament from those four constituencies to receive input and to reply directly to you via the online platform or via SMS!

Constituency meetings are organised as part of the project in villages in Nata/Gweta, Boteti North, Maun West and South East South to discuss issues that concern you and that you want to share with your Member of Parliament. Find out when is the next constituency meetings close to you here.

You come from another constituency?

You can also be part of Botswana Speaks! Use Speak4Yourself to discuss, debate issues and legislation that is currently discussed in the Parliament. All Members of Parliament can participate to these debates and receive input from you!

Send us your comments and suggestions on the Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative platform: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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On Wednesday 27 February, partners in the Parliament of Botswana, together with Gov2u, will present the initiative’s objectives to the local authorities of the four constituencies involved in the initiative– Maun West, Boteti North, Nata/Gweta and South East South.
The organization of local constituency meetings as part of the project as well as the online platform will be presented and discussed with the local authorities that depend on the Ministry of Local Government. 

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First crucial stage successfully reached for the Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative with the development of the Alpha version of the online platform and its presentation to the Members of Parliament in Gaborone. Botswana, like many African countries, has a strong history of traditional tribal leadership and administration.  Botswana Speaks launched in October 2012 is a project that enables citizens, traditional leaders and local kgotla assemblies in four constituencies (Maun West, Nata/Gweta, Boteti North and South East South) to share their views and policy concerns with their elected representatives through the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).
On Tuesday 29 January, Vasilis Koulolias, Programme Director of the Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative, presented the Alpha version of the platform to the four Members of Parliament involved in the project: Hon. Makosha, Hon. Motlhale, Hon. Moremi and Hon. Tsogwane.
During the orientation seminar, the Members of Parliament discovered the online platform for the first time, discussed improvements and planned the next steps of the initiative. Their strong involvement and contributions to implementing this initiative reflect in the words of the Clerk of the National Assembly, Mrs. Barbara Dithapo, who showed her commitment during the orientation seminar organized for the staff of the Parliament on 30 January: “Botswana Speaks has to be successful.”
The two orientation seminars organized last week were a great success, with valuable feedback from Members of Parliament on the online platform and fruitful exchange of ideas on the organization and implementation of the pilot phase of the project to start in April 2013. The next couple of months will be intense for the Botswana Speaks partners: development of the final version of the online platform; training of constituency officers who will chair constituency meetings; organization of the constituency meetings where ongoing legislation will be discussed and debated in villages in the four constituencies involved.
“The originality of this project is that we do not aim at implementing an ICT tool without looking at the traditional role of chiefs in the local politics.  Rather, we want to incorporate these [ICT] tools within the traditions and not look at only online tools but the offline world as well,” says Kheira Belkacem, Assistant Programme Director.


Please find below the English and the translated versions of the press release:

Botswana_Speaks_Press_Release__TRANS.docx

Botswana_Speaks_Press_Release_English.docx

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