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Interview with Impacto Legislativo: Measuring Mexico’s Congress

Submitted by on March 27, 2011 – 8:38 pmOne Comment

Along with Silvana Fumega in Argentina and the Smart Citizen Foundation in Chile, Información Cívica is helping coordinate a series of video-conference calls that bring together legislative monitoring groups and civic hackers to discuss the role of technology in making Latin American legislative bodies more transparent and accountable. The video conference calls will culminate in a workshop that will take place in May in Santiago, Chile. The initiative is supported by the World Bank Institute and Open Society Foundation’s Latin America Program.

A forthcoming report by Andrew G. Mandelbaum for the World Bank Institute and National Democratic Institute has identified nearly 200 parliamentary monitoring organizations that observe the work of parliaments in more than 80 countries. The majority of those organizations, according to the report, can be found in Latin America, and many of them belong to the Latin America Network for Legislative Transparency. While their goals and tactics are diverse, most parliamentary monitoring organizations observe and evaluate the work of their country’s parliament, and act as a layer between congress on the one hand and researchers, civil society, and citizens on the other. Through this initiative we are trying to figure out how technology can help make their work more effective and efficient.

The video conference calls are a great way to facilitate an initial discussion among dozens of people based in a number of countries, but given the time restraints it is difficult to give space to every participant to describe the details of his/her project. Juan Manuel Casanueva of Telar Social suggested that we therefore record video interviews with participants to profile how different parliamentary monitoring groups use technology in their work. This first video interview is with Diego Ernesto Díaz Iturbe of Impacto Legislativo in Mexico. I have subtitled the first few minutes of the video in English with the help of Universal Subtitles, but am looking for volunteers who can help finish the translation.

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