Parliament in session in Accra, Ghana. Jonathan Ernst / World Bank

Evidence on parliamentary strengthening

Senior Research Fellow Alina Rocha Menocal will give evidence before the International Development Committee at Westminster next week with former colleague Tam O’Neil from ODI.
 
The committee, one of the UK Parliament’s Commons Select Committees, meets on Tuesday, 18 November, to take evidence on parliamentary strengthening. It will consider the written evidence prepared by Alina Rocha Menocal and Tam O’Neill about the impact of Parliamentary Development Assistance (PDA) programmes in developing countries around the world. 
 
Their evidence draws on an earlier 2012 study (PDF, 681 KB) authored by them that examines the lessons learned and remaining challenges in PDA. It suggests that while support for new parliaments is vital to encourage the formation of democratic processes, parliaments are often deeply mistrusted by the public in newly democratic countries. 
 
They argue that donors and partner parliaments should recognise that strengthening parliaments is ultimately a political endeavour – not simply a technical one. They will tell the committee that changing political culture in developing countries is a slow process. Changes to the balance of power between, for instance, the executive and parliament need more than the kind of technical support that focuses on formal rules such as constitutions and laws. 
 
Alina is on secondment at DLP until spring 2016 from ODI. While with DLP, she plans to do in-depth comparative work on how states have dealt with institutional change. She is also examining the challenges and tensions that emerge when a state tries to simultaneously transform a range of political, economic, social and administrative processes.

 

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About DLP

The Developmental Leadership Program (DLP) is an international research initiative that explores how leadership, power and political processes drive or block successful development.

DLP focuses on the crucial role of home-grown leaderships and coalitions in forging legitimate political settlements and institutions that promote developmental outcomes, such as sustainable growth, political stability and inclusive social development.

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