Our Programs

Africa

Africa Programs have been the Parliamentary Centre’s largest international focus. Since 1999, the Parliamentary Centre has worked with more than 30 African Parliaments, at both the national and regional (multi-county) level. Today, we are working across the continent to assist our partners in building more transparent, credible and inclusive democracies. Our work especially focuses on empowering women in politics.

Programs

This project supports legislatures in Ghana and Togo to be more inclusive, gender-responsive and transparent. It addresses barriers to women’s participation in democratic processes and amplifies women’s voices, including COVID-19 response and recovery efforts. The project also improves legislative engagement with civil society, particularly women’s rights organizations. Project activities include: (1) enhancing the capacity of legislatures to formulate and operationalize gender-responsive strategies and plans; (2) enhancing the capacity of legislatures to implement administrative reforms to enable gender-sensitive resource use and service delivery; (3) supporting legislatures to amend and pass inclusive gender laws, including gender-sensitive budgets; (4) supporting legislatures to set up systems to oversee the achievement of gender equality commitments by executive branches; and (5) enabling legislatures to connect with citizens, in particular women and girls.

The expected outcomes for this project include: 1) strengthened legislatures to represent the needs of the poorest and most marginalized populations, with a focus on women and girls; 2) improved abilities and effectiveness of elected officials to design and develop inclusive and gender responsive laws, policies and budgets; and 3) improved engagement of civil society and marginalized populations, in particular women and girls, in decision-making and democratic processes, to ensure that policies and services better respond to their needs.

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Ghana and Togo
2022-2026
Focus: Parliamentary Institution; Citizen Outreach and Engagement; Parliaments and Gender
Funders: Global Affairs Canada

This project focuses on strengthening the capacity of the National Assembly of Burkina Faso through a multi-faceted and targeted support for the Speaker, the 127 MPs, and the parliamentary staff that assist them. The objective of the PROCAB is to help the National Assembly exercise its strategic plan to be closer to the population and more transparent and
effective in its work.

Building over PADEB and where it left off, PROCAB works with all eight parliamentary commissions and the top management of the Assembly to increase outreach to more communities and deepen ownership of the National Assembly.

Besides gender mainstreaming and support for women in public life, the project’s focus is on the oversight of the executive through new and improved oversight practises, including a Budget Analysis Unit (precursor to a Parliamentary Budget Office), adapted democratic of the security sector practises, and citizen assessments. These are conducted through the use of
virtual tools such as an EngageParl, the Centre’s Online Citizen engagement platform.

Burkina Faso
Ongoing
Focus: Parliamentary Institution; Citizen Outreach and Engagement; Parliaments and Gender; Budgetary Oversight and Accountability
Funders: Sweden, Switzerland, European Union

The Support for Democracy Project in Burkina Faso ended its activities in March, 2019. It was approved in the wake of the popular insurrection that led to the burning of the National Assembly with a view to recast a new vision for Burkina’s legislature, closer to its people, more transparent and accountable. The project encompassed a support for the development of the Assembly’s strategic plan and gender strategy. It was this strategic plan that caught the attention of donors and led to their support under PROCAB.

Through PADEB, the National Assembly undertook innovations in oversight processes of the Executive. Members of Parliament also learned how they could better explain their role to their constituents, and how to appropriately be involved in the dialogue with the executive. This was namely the case regarding the fight against the social exclusion of elderly women shunned from their communities as they were accused of witchcraft and while assessing the implementation of government programs in education, health and local infrastructure (roads, bridges…).

It also was an opportunity to start rebuilding the Assembly’s documentary holdings destroyed during the fire, by developing guides based on good practices:

  • Gender-sensitive Parliamentary research
  • Drafting and amending legislation
  • Holding public hearings with Civil Society, experts and citizens
  • MP’s manual

Burkina Faso
March 2016 to March 2019
Focus: Parliamentary Institution; Citizen Outreach and Engagement; Parliaments and Gender;
Budgetary Oversight and Accountability; Democratic Oversight of the Security Sector
Funders: Global Affairs Canada

The African Parliamentary Strengthening Program (APSP) for Budget Oversight has helped seven African parliaments to develop and implement strategies to strengthen their overall role at all stages of the national budget process. The APSP sought to help increase the financial accountability of these partner parliaments, with a view to contribute to improved democratic governance. The APSP also supported the work of partner parliaments to curb corruption through the African Parliamentarians’ Network Against Corruption (APNAC), for which the Centre hosted its Secretariat.

Benin, Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia
April 2009 – March 2014
Focus: Parliamentary Institution; Budgetary Oversight and Accountability; Legislative Drafting
Funders: Global Affairs Canada

The popular uprising in the Middle East has exposed the fragility of the governance models in the region. The Centre collaborated with two institutions to build local capacity and to strengthen their skills in parliamentary relation: One World Foundation for Development and Civil Society in Cairo, and MADA for Media Development. The project strengthened civil society leaders, giving them the capacity to train Egyptian Members of Parliament and parliamentary staff, to help improve the effectiveness of the country and its people.

Egypt
July 2012 – January 2013
Focus: Parliamentary Institution; Parliamentary Development Organisations; Civil Society Organisations
Funders: Global Affairs Canada