Together, WFD’s access to British expertise, and our increasingly global presence, experience and composition enable us to offer something unique in the field of parliamentary-strengthening.
We are a leading provider of uniquely British experiences and expertise in parliamentary culture and practice, both from Westminster and via the devolved parliaments and assemblies. We work in partnership with other institutions such as the National Audit Office, the British Council, and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, among many others – to bring together the full breadth of British knowledge about what makes parliaments effective.
This breadth is reflected in the wide variety of activities featured in our programmes. We build the capacity of parliaments to conduct financial scrutiny; strengthen select committees; enhance parliaments’ research and training capacities; and support multi-party bodies in parliament. More generally, we advise parliaments’ leadership and help them develop their strategic plans.
We also support effective regional parliamentary programmes; enhance MPs’ outreach abilities to connect them with their constituents; and help countries effectively manage decentralisation and devolution. WFD’s relationships with over 25 parliaments create opportunities for sharing lessons between parliaments, too. For example, we have brought Iraqi stakeholders to our Indonesia office to learn about how their Anti-Corruption Commission has become so formidable, and brought parliamentary leaders from Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia, and Bahrain to share lessons with the Moroccan parliament on strategic planning.
Parliaments matter. WFD has long recognised the importance of parliaments’ role in establishing and sustaining democratic governments capable of meeting the security, economic, and social needs of their citizens. We look to improve parliaments’ ability to achieve this in four areas:
- By equipping parliaments with the knowledge, tools and confidence to challenge the executive, WFD’s programmes can help improve the drafting, formulation and scrutiny of public policies.
- By improving parliaments’ ability to engage civil society and expose poor performance, our work aims to make public life more accountable in the countries where we operate.
- By intensifying efforts to pass reforms ensuring that public institutions reflect the citizenry, WFD seeks to increase parliaments’ status as a representative body which reflects the interests of all groups and constituents – particularly those which have been previously marginalised, like women or youth.
- By supporting parliaments to become more open and transparent, WFD helps give citizens greater access to and a more active role in parliamentary processes.
Together, the improvement of parliaments in these four areas should enhance their capacity, legitimacy, and influence, making them more powerful institutions. Our parliamentary work seeks to give parliaments the ability to contribute to good governance, reduce corruption, satisfy a wider range of citizen needs, protect human rights, encourage peaceful deliberation of public policy, and strengthen the democratic culture of their societies.