Legislatures are central to modern democratic politics, holding governments to account, and scrutinising legislation in order to generate more effective public policy. Yet during moments of crisis, legislatures are often bypassed as presidents and prime ministers prioritise a rapid response. The concern that legislatures will be marginalised, with greater power concentrated in the hands of […]
Supporting the Jordanian Parliament’s Strategic Plan
By Sergiu Galitchi, Human Resources Expert, WFD Jordan. WFD is an implementing partner in the EU Support to Jordanian Democratic Institutions and Development (EU-JDID) programme. The programme supports Jordan with its political reform process, including the promotion of inclusive policy and decision-making processes.
Over the last decades, national public authorities across the world acutely realized the need for better alignment of their internal organisation with available resources in order to achieve better effectiveness and efficiency. This required an objective assessment of organisational strengths and weaknesses, proper prioritisation and an inclusive and participatory process, so each civil servant could contribute to the overall performance of the government. To manage reform and institutionalise change as well as to optimize the internal operations using booming information technologies, public authorities design and implement strategic plans. Such plans are not rare at the executive level. But what about national parliaments? Do they need strategic planning?
Given their core functions, parliaments must constantly modernise their internal structures and increase their capacities to operate as open, accessible, accountable, and effective institutions. Seeking to embrace new and innovative solutions, parliaments acknowledged the need to have sequenced interventions that would allow proper planning of required resources and time for absorption.
In June 2019, WFD experts met with representatives of the Jordanian Parliament to discuss the need for the development and implementation of a Strategic Plan. A main point of discussion was the need to design a logical framework for parliamentary development as well as adopt new practices and tools that would ensure the legislature has the capacity to discharge its duties, despite scarce resources.
Following this, a Working Group chaired by the Secretary General has met regularly to define the strategy and its delivery plan. The experience of the Scottish Parliament and prior needs assessments conducted by the development partners informed the content and development of the plan. One of the most challenging aspects of developing the plan was to enable the parliament to decide on priorities, given their competing objectives. WFD experts’ role was to provide guidance and coaching on strategic planning, complementing whilst not replacing parliament’s capacities.
To ensure broader consultation, the Secretary General presented the draft Strategic Plan to all the senior managers of the House during a teambuilding event and allowed time for feedback. All this contributed to the successful finalization of the Strategic Plan of the Jordanian House of Representatives. The institution has also acquired the necessary skills and knowledge that would allow repeating the planning process in the future, making the intervention sustainable.
Dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic requires consolidated efforts from all fronts. As democratic representatives of the people, parliaments have the key responsibility of examining policies and their impact on citizens. This is essential in times of a crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. In July 2020, WFD launched a project focused on supporting the Parliament of Sierra Leone by improving its access to crucial gender–sensitive data during the pandemic. Gendered statistics are fundamental in understanding how COVID-19 affects different groups in society. For example: are pregnant women able to seek […]
This blog was first published by PSA Parliaments: The UK Political Studies Association Specialist Group on Parliaments. Read the full report by Professor Nina Caspersen and Dr Gyda Sindre at the University of York. Since 1992, Westminster Foundation for Democracy has supported democratic systems as they emerge out of conflict and into peace and stability. Currently, we […]