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Connecting People and Ideas for Integrated Development

SUNY/CID Partners with McGill University to Train Parliamentary Staff

SUNY/CID has continued to partner with McGill University, the World Bank, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, the European Parliament and the Center for Democratic Institutions at the Australian national University, for the second residency of Executive Training Program for Parliamentary Staff from April 14-19, 2013. The program is organized by McGill’s Institute for the Study of International Development (ISID) and is designed to “share expert knowledge needed to fulfill parliament’s roles in promoting good governance, budget oversight, poverty reduction, democracy and public participation in the policy process.”

The program aims to strengthen the capacity of staff to support parliamentary operations and to strengthen cross-national networks and communities of practice in parliamentary governance. Participants in the program will earn certificates of achievement following successful completion of the residency, five distance courses on aspects of parliamentary development, and the completion of a practical project developed by each staffer in accordance with needs in her or his parliament and overseen by an expert resource person provided by the Training Program.

A total of 32 parliamentary staffers participated in this year’s residency, from: Timor Leste, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Mozambique, Nigeria, Kosovo, St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, Namibia, Trinidad and Tobago, Liberia, Uganda, India and Canada. The resource persons and facilitators included experienced international legislative development professionals, such as Rick Stapenhurst, Mitch O’Brien, John Johnson, Riccardo Pelizzo, Paul Bellisle, Marie-Andrée Lajoie, and Anthony Staddon, and SUNY/CID Senior Associate. Mark Baskin. Former Canadian Prime Minister Joe Clark delivered the keynote speech. The curriculum covered Democracy and Accountability and Parliaments, Government Accountability, Representation, Corporate Management of Parliaments, and Strategic Communications for Parliaments and mixed presentation, discussion, group problem solving and other forms of participatory and team-based learning.

Dr. Baskin’s presentation on Representation covered classical (delegate vs. trustee notions) and more contemporary approaches to representation that take representation as a multidimensional set of practices including interest representation, outreach, constituency service and accountability, and one in which staff play essential, supporting roles.

In addition to the residency SUNY/CID is also leading two e-learning courses on legislative research and policy analysis for parliamentary staff and on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for parliaments.

Posted July 30, 2013