Parliamentary strengthening: fix the car, or worry about the driver?
In a guest post on Duncan Green’s From Poverty to Power blog, DLP Senior Research Fellow Alina Rocha Menocal revisits the evidence on parliamentary strengthening that she and former colleague Tam O’Neill of ODI presented in mid-November 2014 to the UK’s International Development Select Committee (IDC).
The IDC is currently investigating why parliamentary development assistance (PDA) programmes have been relatively ineffective and what, if anything, can be done differently.
The findings of a study for Sida (PDF, 681 KB) co-authored by Alina and Tam O’Neill suggest the focus of PDA should shift beyond merely ‘fixing the car’ – in other words, beyond a focus on formal parliamentary rules and capacity. Donors, partners and practitioners need to engage with the inescapably political nature of parliaments and the politicians who populate them – the ‘drivers’.