Parliamentary Power to the People: Analyzing Online and Offline Strategies in Latin America

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With their ability to shape a nation’s economic, social, and political future, national parliaments wield an incredible amount of power and influence over the citizens they represent. Yet in Latin America, public trust in the deliberative branch of government is alarmingly low. Part of the solution is political reform, but if parliaments are to become more trustworthy and effective, citizens also need to proactively engage representatives by means of greater participation and monitoring. Through the strategic use of internet technologies, newly formed parliamentary monitoring organizations are forging spaces and tactics to bring citizens and governments together.

This report asks how parliamentary monitoring organizations can leverage online and offline strategies to make legislative information of greater social and political utility and increase their measurable impact. It focuses on Latin America, but provides inferences that travel across regions. It highlights context-based constraints and identifies strategies that help foster engagement, participation, learning, and political accountability.