Effective parliaments rely on strong organizational structures and on professional administrational support and management. How parliaments use these services determines how effectively they will serve as central gateways for citizens to actively participate in public life. Parliaments also play a critical role in fragile and conflict affected states, bringing together divergent interests and fostering rules-based deliberations and constructive relationships among members and the groups they represent.
Through its institutional strengthening programs, the Parliamentary Centre works to consolidate the technical capacity of democratic institutions to conduct needs assessments and project design, and to fulfill their mandate in areas such as government oversight, inclusive representation of citizens, and equal access for women and men to decision-making bodies. This can include the establishment of new support services, such as Parliamentary Budget or Citizen Engagement Offices, or of institutional linkages with Supreme audit institutions and other independent bodies, including the human rights commissions, anti-corruption commissions and electoral management bodies.
Supporting gender equality in society by increasing the knowledge and skills of parliaments to mainstream gender, is a priority for us. Adding this gender-lens to our work, the Parliamentary Centre offers assistance to parliaments in building their capacity to draft gender-sensitive legislation and budgeting. The Centre also supports gender caucuses and individual female MPs to realize their potential, build their capacity, while promoting increased female representation in all aspects of parliament.
The Parliamentary Centre cooperates with civil society organizations worldwide in the development of their capacity to reinforce democratic governance on their own. Such partnerships help parliamentary development organizations develop their needs assessment skills, strategic and operational planning skills, monitoring and evaluation skills, as well as their leadership and communication skills.