Editorial

Dear readers,

Welcome to the sixth issue of the Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative newsletter! As Botswana Speaks is coming to an end, the current issue will be the last for the initiative. It concludes an important initiative, notably creative and productive for the project!

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.

Since our last issue, it was decided that Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative will be rolled-out to all constituencies! Moreover, 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.

A number of interesting articles are included in this issue to inform you about relevant news. We also recommend a list of upcoming events that could be of interest to attend.

The initiative has raised citizens’ awareness on the role that the Parliament plays as an institution and on the role MPs play as representatives. Constituency meetings that took place during the pilot phase have helped to get a feel of people’s concerns and excitement on the implementation of such project.

We hope that the growing demand for interaction between citizens and elected representatives, the need for effective access to information and consultation could lead more Members of the Parliament and more countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to get involved!

Regards,
The Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative Newsletter Team

 

Project News

Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative to be rolled-out to all constituencies

Hon. Odirile Motlhale, Chairman for the Committee on Communications, Works, Transport and Technology, and Member of Parliament 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.

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Key lessons learnt from the evaluation of the Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative

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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830 cases on the Botswana Speaks platform!

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. At the end of the pilot (March 2014) there were 830 cases on U-Speak !

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“Inclusive Innovation in Governance: Critical reflections from Botswana” presented @ UKAIS 2014 Conference

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.

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Ready to use toolkit

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.
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