Ilana Trombka — Setting up the world’s first digital senate

The Innovation Dividend Podcast, EP 8

The Innovation Dividend explores how innovation in society and government are paying off. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be exploring how ‘policy frontliners’ are innovating in real time in the COVID-19 pandemic and asking which of these changes and “raw learnings” might become part of our new normal. You can see the backstory by Kal Joffres here, Podcast EP 1, Podcast EP2, Podcast EP3, Podcast EP4, Podcast EP5, Podcast EP6, and Podcast EP7

COVID-19 has prevented or delayed legislators from meeting in a number of countries at a time when they have been most urgently needed. Ilana Trombka, the Director General for the Federal Senate of the Brazilian Congress had the Senate ready to work digitally a mere 8 days after COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic. Brazil became the first country to legislate fully digitally.

To date, Brazil’s virtual Senate has passed over 30 pieces of legislation online, including a constitutional amendment. We hear from Ilana how the Senate was prepared to act so quickly, how the conduct of the Senate has been adapted for the digital medium, and what impact this has had on the legislative process. This interview was recorded on May 29, 2020.



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Regional Innovation Centre UNDP Asia-Pacific

Doing development differently through designing, developing, curating, collating and championing innovation and digital across the Asia Pacific Region.