Announcing the launch of the GovLab’s CrowdLaw for Congress project

The GovLab at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering is pleased to announce the launch of CrowdLaw for Congress (congress.crowd.law) — a free, online course and resource kit including training videos, case studies and a “playbook” of practical strategies showcasing how and why legislatures are using technology to engage the public in lawmaking

The initiative, launched with support from the Democracy Fund, seeks to help legislatures foster an efficient two-way conversation with the public to improve the quality and legitimacy of lawmaking in the 21st century. 

The CrowdLaw for Congress website features a series of five short instructional videos by Professor Beth Simone Noveck, New York University, detailing how to leverage technology to engage the public at each stage of the lawmaking process: Problem Identification, Solution Identification, Drafting and Evaluation. 

The website also includes interviews with politicians and congressional staff offering vivid details of how their parliaments are turning to online engagement to improve lawmaking. Interviewees include Audrey Tang, Digital Minister, Taiwan,Jay Weatherill, Former Premier, South Australia, Alessandro Molon, Member, Brazilian Chamber of Deputies, Paula Forteza, Member, French National Assembly, Luis Cueto, General Coordinator, Madrid City Council, Maryan Henriques, Researcher, Chilean Chamber of Deputies) and Tom Shane, Content Strategist, UK House of Commons. 

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An important feature of the website is the CrowdLaw Playbook — a downloadable guide for introducing 21st century lawmaking techniques in legislatures. The playbook includes practical how-to’s based on the learnings from dozens of interviews conducted by the GovLab team and detailed case studies of CrowdLaw initiatives from around the world. These include case studies on vTaiwan, MyGov India, Decide Madrid, Governador Pergunta, Rahvakogu, Mudamos, Constitutión CDMX, Evidence Checks UK, Evaluación de la Ley and Social Auditing initiatives from Brazil, Ghana and the United States of America. These case studies are accompanied by one-page summaries for the busy public professional.

CrowdLaw for Congress is available online at congress.crowd.law and is a living library devoted to improving lawmaking. We invite suggestions for additional cases and interviews at [email protected] CrowdLaw for Congress is part of a growing roster of CrowdLaw research and resources developed by the GovLab including the CrowdLaw Catalog, a compendium of over a hundred examples of crowdlaw in use around the world, and the CrowdLaw Manifesto, twelve principles for participatory lawmaking. The GovLab is also working with committees in the U.S. Congress to implement CrowdLaw initiatives in practice.

For more CrowdLaw news, sign up for the CrowdLaw Quarterly here.

Please visit congress.crowd.law or contact The Governance Lab at [email protected]