The menu on this website uses a JavaScript for enhanced function in older browsers.

Connecting People and Ideas for Integrated Development

CID at the Eleventh Workshop of Parliamentary Scholars and Parliamentarians

Wroxton College

Wroxton College, site of the Parliamentary Workshop.

On July 26th and 27th the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the Centre for Legislative Studies, University of Hull sponsored the Eleventh Workshop of Parliamentary Scholars and Parliamentarians, held at Wroxton College, Oxfordshire, UK. The workshop brought together over 70 scholars, legislative strengthening practitioners, and parliamentarians from over a dozen countries and all 7 continents to discuss the most recent research on the legislative branch. During the workshop, 12 panels (each presenting 3 to 4 papers) and a concluding plenary session discussed their findings on such topics as: Parliaments in Developing States; Accountability and Policy Making in the European Union; Legislative Developments in China; Policy-Making and Accountability; Reaching out: Engaging with the People and the Press; Westminster in Context; and The Purpose of Aid and Co-Operation: What Does and Effective Parliament Look Like?

CID was represented by Senior Associate David Guinn and Senior Resident Fellow Robert Nakamura. David presented two papers, both of which used the USAID Afghanistan Parliamentary Assistance Project (APAP) as a case study. The first, “Engaging the Demand Dynamic: Budget Support as a Driver of Legislative Development” examines the demand dynamic thesis – the idea that successful reform activities within a parliament can motivate further parliamentary reforms. Dr. Guinn uses APAP’s budget process programming to explore how successful implementation of budget review activities contributed to further successes in activities supporting budget expenditure review, legislative oversight and even legislative activities.

In “Bicameral Development: Second Houses in Developmental Perspective – Lessons Learned in Afghanistan” Dr. Guinn examined a gap in the legislative development literature: the impact of providing legislative strengthening support to a legislature with two houses, as opposed to the somewhat more common unicameral or single house system. Dr. Guinn uses the 7 most commonly identified characteristics of a bicameral system to provide a structural analysis for the impact of those characteristics on legislative strengthening programming.

In his session, Dr. Nakamura presented a paper he co-authored with Malcolm Russell-Einhorn, CID Director and Research Professor of Public Administration entitled “Improving the Implementation of Legislative Development Programmes.” In their paper, Nakamura and Russell-Einhorn argue that donors need to support rigorous research and analysis of how legislative strengthening projects are actually being implemented on the ground. They argue that, contrary to theoretical niceties, good ideas often fail while bad ideas can succeed. The challenge is to understand why.

Overall, the response to these papers and the whole workshop was very positive. Of particular interest to CID was the interest expressed by both the workshop organizers and participants on exploring how to develop a more productive relationship between parliamentary scholars and practitioners - both implementers and parliamentarians.

Posted August 13, 2014