Citizen engagement is most effective when everyone affected by an issue can share their experiences and ideas and have a say in decision making. Public participation can influence decisions that affect the delivery of services, reduce societal tensions and address economic challenges. Engaging citizens empowers legislators to undertake their legislative, oversight and budget functions more effectively. Ultimately, this leads to improved results in key policy areas, including health, education and economic opportunities.
The Parliamentary Centre supports parliaments to address the growing erosion of public trust by enhancing citizen participation and engagement through improved parliamentary processes. Originally, developed by CARE Malawi in 2002, the Community Score Card (CSC) methodology is one of our main tools to help build bridges between our partner parliaments and the citizens they represent. This tool has helped involve close to 6000 citizens in more than ten different countries in local decision-making. The Centre has also developed public consultation guidelines to open parliaments’ doors to citizen participation and oversight with the support of civil society organizations.