UK MP’s constituency work inspires Ukrainian MPs to engage with public

“It  was extremely interesting and useful to learn more about how British MPs work in their constituencies”, says Yuri Levchenko, Member of Parliament in Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (VRU) reflecting on his experience in the Westminster Foundation for Democracy exchange programme. By bringing together Ukrainian MPs with their UK counterparts, the programme aimed to motivate new […]

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Using evidence to deliver better services to the citizens of Kenya

Demographic data is key to effective, responsive and evidence-based legislation. Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) is supporting the Senate of Kenya develop new ways to collect county-level information which will help legislators decide where to improve public services. Kenya, which will hold a general election on 8 August, is currently going through a process of devolution [...]
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Crafting effective legislation needs a solid understanding of society

(Above: Muhammad Mushtaq (Joint Secretary – Legislation, National Assembly) and Javid Iqbal (Drafter – Legislation Council, Senate) with Dr Alasdair Allan, Scottish Government Minister for International Development and Europe) Kashif Mahmood Tariq, a former legislative drafter from Pakistan participated in a WFD organised placement in October 2016. Following his placement he argued that effective legislation needs […]

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Engaging parliaments in Asia on reviewing legislative impact

(Above: WFD's Dina Melhem and Franklin DeVrieze with Members of Parliament in Burma) Franklin DeVrieze, Senior Governance Advisor One of parliaments’ key roles is to make laws which meet the needs of a country’s citizens. Beyond the primary function of adopting legislation, parliaments should be able to evaluate whether legislation does achieve its intended outcome. [...]
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From Westminster to Tynwald: Lao delegation visit UK

(Above: Hon. Steve Rodan MLC, President of Tynwald with members of the delegation from Laos) In March 2017, Westminster Foundation for Democracy’s programme Supporting the Capacity and Accountability of the Lao Parliament, offered a delegation from the National Assembly the opportunity to exchange ideas on how different jurisdictions approach the rights of citizens and legislation through [...]
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The Speaker’s role in Sri Lanka

"May it please your Majesty, I have neither eyes to see nor tongue to speak in this place but as the House is pleased to direct me, whose servant I am here." Thus, spoke William Lenthall, House of Commons Speaker, in a seventeenth century tussle with the Monarch. Incidents like this contributed to shaping the [...]
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Access to politics: Cost as a barrier

Encouraging broader political participation has been a cornerstone of international democracy support since its early days. This has involved working to reduce barriers to entry to politics often based on gender, age, ethnicity, and other contextual factors. Over the past decade, however, an emergent barrier that has received less attention is the cost of politics. [...]
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Closing civil society space in East Africa

(Above: Working groups discuss trends within the East Africa region and their effect on CSOs operating space: funding, legislation, freedom of information and human rights) It has been said that democracy is not a spectator sport. Good governance is rarely bestowed; it must be demanded and defended by active citizens participating in democratic processes. More [...]
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