The response of governments around the world to continue operating while responding to the COVID-19 crisis imposes enormous pressure, which drives the search for new work options. In this context, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) emerge as a facilitator for innovative solutions in the different areas of what is known as Electronic Government.
In Honduras, at the request of the National Congress, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has made an important contribution from a technological point of view, facilitating the option of virtual sessions for members of Congress. Among the most important requirements requested by the institution include: capacity for virtual meetings with audio and video and no time limits, possibility to share content online, ability to conduct online voting with due control and reports, and the option of live-streaming the meetings on social networks and/or television channels, as well as all security measures and the ability to control access and permissions to the meetings.
For Hector Mejía, ICT Associate of UNDP in Honduras, it is important to adapt, through digital transformation, to the challenges of COVID-19. "At these critical times, technology plays a fundamental role in enabling new ways of working, and at UNDP we are responsible for doing everything possible to reduce the existing digital divide and promote development."
It is important to mention that the solution offered by UNDP is not simply a software license, but also includes technical assistance and direct contact with the provider in an expedited manner, as an added value to the Honduran National Congress. Thus, within two weeks, it was possible to hold a virtual meeting to demonstrate the product, answer specific queries, define the scope and finally, carry out the negotiation process, activation and delivery of the platform.
"The platform that UNDP has provided us free of charge has the necessary requirements to carry out virtual sessions of the plenary in an appropriate manner," said Dr. Mauricio Oliva, President of the National Congress of Honduras.
UNDP, which has long-term agreements with major solution and product providers, is ISO 27001 certified, the international standard that regulates Information Security Management Systems. This allows for the confidentiality and integrity of the data and information, as well as a reliable response capacity, particularly in times of crisis.