Volume 16, No.05 - May 2012

Capacity development

Information and Communication Technologies for Parliaments

The Second Workshop on ICT Strategic Planning in the SADC Parliaments will be held from 14 to 16 May 2012 in Windhoek, Namibia.  

The purpose of the second Workshop is to provide a forum for parliaments to discuss how the UN DESA Project “Support to ICT Strategic Planning in the SADC Parliaments”, funded by the European Commission, through the Secretariat of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, lead to any particular achievements, challenges and all other related experiences obtained during their respective ICT strategic planning process.  The Workshop will also allow participants to jointly identify needs and promote opportunities going forward for the greater use of ICT in SADC Parliaments while also solidifying an ongoing and supportive community of practice. 

The Workshop will be attended by key decision makers in the SADC Parliaments such as Members of Parliament, Secretaries General and ICT Directors. It is jointly organised by UN DESA, through the Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM), its Global Centre for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in Parliament, and the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF).

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Open government and citizen engagement

A workshop on “Future Government: A Global Perspective in Connection to Open Government and Citizen engagement”, will take place in Geneva on 16-17 May 2012.

This international workshop will serve as an enabling platform of WSIS, for an international and multidisciplinary (public officials, academia, civil society and private sector stakeholders) group of experts, and national practitioners, to share their experiences and exchange practices on open government data and citizen engagement.

The Workshop has the following objectives:

  • Strengthen the participants’ capacity in policy and program formulation, implementation and evaluation of open government data initiatives;
  • Understand the value created for governments, citizens, civil society, and the business community, by opening government data;
  • Share open government initiatives based on experiences of early adopters and also identify challenges, especially in the area of data security and privacy;
  • Accelerate participants’ learning on implementation of legislation concerning access to government data and personal data privacy;

The main output of the workshop will be an Open Government Data (OGD) Toolkit which will serve as the entry point for those UN Member States who plan to share data with their constituents. The toolkit will include strategies for opening government data, templates that governments can customize for their own needs, technologies for opening data, recommendations about the data hosting applications and platforms.

The event, organised by The Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM) of UN DESA, in cooperation with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), will take place during the 2012 annual follow-up meetings of the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS). 

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A census software for more accessible data

A Regional Workshop on CensusInfo will be held in Almaty, Kazakhstan, 15-18 May 2012 for nine Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region countries.

One of the major lessons from the 2000 round of population and housing censuses points to the necessity of taking full advantage of the data collected through censuses via appropriate dissemination and analysis mechanisms. Often, census results are disseminated only in a tabular format—whether in print publications or on the web—which potential data users find unappealing. Interested data users often encounter language and other data access barriers (for example, the data is restricted or only available in print form). For census data to be truly useful, it needs to be easily accessible via the Internet and access to data should be provided in an interactive manner along with tools for visualization and analysis.

The goal of the Regional Workshop is to provide a forum for sharing national practices and experiences in the dissemination of census data as well as highlighting CensusInfo’s software potential as a platform for disseminating census data at any geographical level. The workshop will demonstrate the various processes involved in the adaptation of CensusInfo, including the preparation of CensusInfo template and database, importing data, language translation and customization of the software package. The workshop sessions will also include hands-on training on using the CensusInfo User Interface and Database Administration applications.  It is primarily intended for census experts and census data managers. This event is organized by UN DESA’s Statistics Division in collaboration with the Agency of Statistics of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

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Population and housing censuses in South Asia

A workshop on “Collection and Dissemination of Socio-economic Data from Population and Housing Censuses” will take place in New Delhi, India, from 28 to 31 May 2012.

The purpose of this workshop, aimed for South Asian countries and organised by the UN Statistics Division is to present international standards and country practices for conducting population and housing censuses with a focus on recommended core topics and tabulations as identified in the United Nations Principles and Recommendations for Population and Housing Censuses, Revision 2.

The workshop will also offer an opportunity to discuss the use of technological tools and of GIS web-based mapping and spatial analysis in the dissemination of census data as well as of the CensusInfo software as a tool for data dissemination. Lastly, the workshop will also provide a forum for sharing of national practices and experiences regarding determination of census topics and tabulations and also strategies for dissemination of census data. 

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New technologies in the legislative branch

A workshop on “The Impact of New Technologies in the Transformation of the Legislative Branch” will be held from 30 May to 1 June 2012, in Bridgetown, Barbados.

This regional workshop intends to serve as a forum for participants to discuss how the recently developed Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Strategic Plans can be implemented in each of the beneficiary Parliament of the UN DESA Project “Support to ICT Strategic Planning in the Caribbean Parliaments”. It is entitled  “The Impact of New Technologies in the Transformation of the Legislative Branch: From Awareness, to Planning, to Action”.

This workshop also intends to provide exposure to ongoing regional developments and trends in parliamentary ICT within the context of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Programme “Connected Parliaments”. Finally, the Workshop will explore regional opportunities and identify synergies for solidifying a supportive regional community of practice aimed at continued e-Parliament learning and capacity building. 

This workshop is organized by UN DESA, through the Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM) and its Global Centre for ICT in Parliament, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Caribbean Centre for Development Administration (CARICAD). It will convene around 75 participants from Caribbean parliaments, including presiding officers (Speakers, MPs and Clerks) and senior ICT staff, as well as senior ICT experts from other more ICT advanced parliaments. 

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