In Uganda, WFD helped parliament establish an Institute for Parliamentary Studies (IPS). The Institute is responsible for coordinating and delivering capacity building initiatives for Members and Staff of Parliament. The Institute continues to enhance professionalism amongst staff and member in the performance of their duties across all committees and departments of Parliament, especially in accountability committees where most of the financial oversight of public expenditure is carried out.
PDF files require Adobe Reader to view
Key elements of context:
- The Parliament has a general high turnover of its members (over 60% during the last elections)
- Parliament is not effective in providing oversight over a dominant majority government.
- Training in parliament is generally expensive as members and staff are often sent abroad for training events. Consequently, few benefits and lessons learned are shared. ·
- Members of Parliament (MPs) are drawn from different academic backgrounds with the majority being first time MPs. On average, during elections approximately 40% of MPs are re‐elected into Parliament.
- The market for those requesting parliamentary knowledge has been growing. This includes CSOs, the media, government officials and district councils. ·
- The leadership and composition of sessional committees change every financial year creating the need to constantly induct committees on their new mandates.
- Donor support to capacity building has been patchy and unsustainable beyond the funding period. Capacity building has not been demand led and lacks ownership and application by the parliament.
- The Parliament of Uganda is considered strong in several areas such as the budget process, and committee operations. Consequently, other parliaments in the region could benefit from the Ugandan experience through building a relationship with them.
- Local government councils constantly refer to the Parliament for advice on procedural issues. There is a growing demand for support from the national parliament as Uganda decentralises to 112 districts. Parliament and District Councils perform related functions making laws for the development of Uganda but at different levels. In the case of the executive and the judiciary, however, institutions at the national and local levels are linked administratively and are able to share experiences routinely. On the other hand, there are no operational mechanisms for the two law making bodies to interact and share experiences for the good of the country and enhancement of their work. The IPS presents a perfect opportunity to bridge this gap and also act as a partner to other stakeholders interested in these aspects.