To assist in fostering a better relationship between policymakers and their constituencies, the International Republican Institute (IRI) has published an in-depth guide on how to bring both sides closer together. It is the result of a year-long program with Panama’s National Assembly, funded by the National Endowment for Democracy, with the goal to better the citizen engagement practices of members and staff of the National Assembly. This tool however can be used in a global context, enhancing transparency and engagement between legislators and citizens, as well as increasing the public’s access to information.
The guide includes sections on how legislators and their staff can establish goals and priorities, communicate through traditional and social media, setup an office, meet with constituents directly, host townhall forums, manage casework, and work with civil society. This is a comprehensive tool with the ability to strengthen democratic practices in any community, large or small.