To break the current trends of shrinking democratic space and increased inequality, it is important to ensure that the emergency powers – although vital in protecting health – are not used to shrink the democratic space.
Moroccan Parliament using digital technology to reach citizens
The COVID-19 pandemic is profoundly affecting work and businesses across the world, notwithstanding its health effects. Planned activities are delayed or cancelled, and meetings are complicated, whilst digital technology is now facilitating communication between co-workers and helping institutions to reach out to their audiences.
Parliaments are among the institutions that cannot postpone their work and commitments. They play a crucial role in controlling the impact of this pandemic and ensuring people’s safety.
Even though their work was affected by the rapid spread of COVID-19, parliaments across the globe have differently responded to COVID-19 and have mitigated ways to reach out to citizens.
The Moroccan Parliament – which has recently started broadcasting committees’ meetings live on the Parliament’s website and YouTube channel – is no exception.
Usually, the committee meetings at the Moroccan Parliament take place privately. Their outcomes are always shared with the public.
However, since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Morocco, the Parliament has broadcasted many live meetings of committees, including:
A meeting to discuss the decree related to Morocco’s Special Fund to control COVID-19 economic impact; the Interior, Local Communities, Housing and City Policy Committee meeting to adopt the draft decree law relating to the state of health emergency; and a Finance Committee meeting to discuss the draft decree law on suspending foreign debt.
Parliament took this initiative as part of the efforts to enhance its communications with its citizens and provide them with timely updates regarding COVID-19 in Morocco.
The Moroccan Parliament is also making use of video conferencing and other technology facilities to comply with the county’s preventive measures against the spread of the pandemic, and is constantly updating the public on social media channels and the website on the latest developments and decisions made in response to COVID-19.
During its partnership with the Moroccan Parliament, Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) Morocco has been supporting the institution to build effective communication channels with citizens. And recently, the Parliament has increased engagement among citizens.
From a renovated, more advanced website to using social media platforms and YouTube channel to engage with citizens, the Parliament has recently improved its outreach and has made a significant progress in terms of transparency.
Additionally, the parliament’s communications and outreach strategy, developed with the support of WFD, has given an incentive for the institution to adopt a two-way communication approach where information and dialogue is exchangeable with the citizens and civil society organizations.
Open parliaments are the cornerstones of democracy. They represent people’s voices, pass laws and oversee governments’ actions. Opening parliaments has many benefits including effective outcomes in key policy areas, better quality legislation and most importantly improved trust relationships between citizens and the parliament. Morocco officially joined the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in 2018. The House […]
To foster LGBT+ inclusive democracies, parliamentarians need to listen to LGBT+ voices, as well as access to more and better information. WFD is focusing on addressing these issues.