Parliaments & Parties
Global Partners & Associates works with parliaments and political parties, politicians and parliamentary staff to strengthen the process of representative democracy. The work falls into four main categories:
We work directly with politicians, committees and parliamentary staff to tackle the challenges of holding governments to account, and help them implement changes to improve their working practices and strengthen their institutions.
For example, we have worked with the Iraqi Council of Representatives in Baghdad since 2008, supporting departments such as the Secretary General and Research Directorate, while also working directly with politicians on cross-party parliamentary committees to improve oversight of government finance and decision-making. We are delivering a similar project in Egypt.
We have developed mentoring and training programmes for legislative assemblies and parliaments across the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Africa to improve their engagement with the public, budget scrutiny, legislative oversight and codes of conduct.
We are frequently asked to advise donor agencies and other international organisations on their approach to strengthening parliaments and political parties.
We also advise embassies and ministries, such as cooperating with¬†the Danish Foreign Ministry, on a project which led to the development of ‚ÄėHow To‚Äô notes for foreign ministry officials around the world. We helped the Ministry establish a multi-party institute to support the development of political parties around the world. This was set up in 2011.
In recent years we have provided advice to the Global Organisation of Parliamentarians Against Corruption, to the UNDP‚Äôs Programme on Governance in the Arab Region, and to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on systems of domestic accountability and budget oversight.
Training is not a staple part of our work with parliaments and parties, as we believe ongoing support for politicians and staff is a more effective way of achieving meaningful change. However, we provide specific training where requested, for example, to Iraqi women parliamentarians on how committees work, using resources, and public speaking; and to members of Arab Region Parliamentarians Against Corruption (ARPAC) on implementing parliamentary codes of conduct.
Our training often leads to new resources, such as publications or toolkits. For example, we provided an assessment framework for determining parliamentary effectiveness which helped the European Commission develop a toolkit called Engaging and Supporting Parliaments Worldwide. We worked with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) and ARPAC to draft the Handbook on Parliamentary Ethics and Conduct, and were part of the Inter-Parliamentary Union‚Äôs (IPU’s) discussions about their Self-Assessment Toolkit.
In autumn 2011 GPA and WFD published The Politics of Parliamentary Strengthening, the first attempt to identify strategies and provide diagnostic tools¬†for improving parliamentary structures. GPA director Greg Power is the lead author for the first Global Parliamentary Report¬†which was published by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 2012. Also in 2012, the Danish Institute for Parties and Democracy (DIPD) will publish a collection of case studies on the role of political parties in democratic transitions, which was co-edited by Greg Power and Rebecca A. Shoot.
We evaluate organisations and projects that work to strengthen parliaments and parties. Because we have hands-on experience of running projects and of strategic analysis, we understand the difficulties of designing and delivering programmes, and use our insights as the basis for practical improvements.
In 2009 we conducted a major analysis of International IDEA‚Äôs work on political parties in Latin America, Africa and Asia, providing detailed recommendations on how their programme should develop. This was used as the basis for discussions among practitioners in the field, and was described by Carnegie Vice President of Studies Thomas Carothers as ‚Äúoutstanding‚ÄĚ.
In 2010 we provided the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with an evaluation of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy‚Äôs work¬†and in 2011 we evaluated the¬†work of ARPAC for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). In 2012, we are similarly evaluating the work of the international network, Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) for the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida).