Strengthening Democracy Through Parliamentary Development

What is the Project About

In 2002, the authorities of the Parliament of Pakistan sought the support of the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UNDP in strengthening its operations. In the light of the report of an UNDP/IPU mission in 2003, the Strengthening Democracy through Parliamentary Development (SDPD), project was initiated. The overall outcome envisaged for the Parliament in the SDPD is long term.

A review mission of the project fielded in February 2009 concluded that the project had made significant contribution to enhancing the role of Parliament but much remains to be done. The mission identified that: (1) Parliament requires support in all key functions and that the lack of support is also obvious in the work of Parliamentary Committees; (2) the Secretariats in both Houses of the Parliament lack the skills and capacity to support the Parliamentarians with regard to crucial work; drafting of laws and amendments to laws; committee work; and research; and (3) Parliament and Parliamentarians have not established strong relationships with Civil Society Organizations, media and citizens and there is a lack of understanding of the roles they play in a democratic society. To address the above constraints of the Parliament, the project started its second phase in late 2009.

The project is assisting the Parliament in strengthening its legitimate role within national governance, enhancing its administration, and providing appropriate support for Parliamentarians in carrying out their core tasks of executive oversight and law making.

What Have We Accomplished So Far

  • More than 400 parliamentarians and staff were trained and another 342 will be trained this year;
  • Supported establishment of a women caucus that advocated the passage of 28 key legislations;
  • Produced over 150 varied knowledge products;
  • Provided support to 12 selected committees of both houses on legislative drafting, including research and oversight;
  • Enabled select committees - defense, human rights and foreign affairs - to hold public hearings for the first time;
  • Created and built the capacity of Parliamentary Reporters Association, thus significantly improving journalists' reporting on parliamentary affairs;
  • Created and built capacity of networks of Youth Parliamentary Schools and Children's Parliament of Pakistan in 30 districts;
  • Technical coordination among the parliamentary support projects has been enhanced and formalized by establishing a Parliamentary Support Group with Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services (PIPS) as its Chair.

Who Finances It?

Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands

Delivery in the Previous Fiscal Year

Delivery in 2012 is USD $957,000.

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