On 20 September 2023 AGORA Parliamentary Development Community of Practice held a workshop on “Mapping and connecting parliamentary research services around the world” co-organised by INTER PARES | Parliaments in Partnership – EU Global Project to Strengthen the Capacity of Parliaments, the UK’s Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology, and the European Centre for Parliamentary Research and Documentation (ECPRD).
The workshop brought together parliamentary research and development practitioners, and scholars in a friendly, open and interactive online environment that enabled sharing, learning and connecting with peers: the event gathered 198 participants coming from more than 60 countries.
Jonathan Murphy, Head of Programme at INTER PARES and Lydia Harriss, Senior Adviser and Physical Sciences Lead at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, House of Commons, UK welcomed the community with inspiring opening remarks.
During the workshop participants heard from Parliamentary Academic Fellows with the UK’s Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology Dr Vicky Ward and Dr Mark Monaghan on the work they have done to map the services helping parliaments across the world to access and harness research evidence (here you can access Global Mapping of parliamentary mechanisms for accessing academic research).
Presentation available here
Dr Ida Kelemen, coordinator of the Parliamentary Libraries, Research and Archives at ECPRD, and Head of Parliamentary Research Service at Hungarian National Assembly, presented the European landscape of parliamentary research services.
Presentation available here
Participants had an opportunity to learn more about the work of parliamentary research services from around the world. These speakers and presentations included:
Dr Christoph Konrath, Head of the Department of Scientific Support and Coordination in Parliamentary Matters, Austrian Parliament
Dr Christoph Clar, Expert, Parliamentary Administration, Austrian Parliament
Dr Heather Lank, Parliamentary Librarian of Canada
Dr Lalita Acharya, Senior Director, Economics, Resources and Environment Division, Library of Parliament, Canada
The Czech Republic:
Dr Štěpán Pecháček, Director of the Parliamentary Institute, Chamber of Deputies, Parliament of the Czech Republic
Dr Abraham Ibn Zackaria, Deputy Director of Research in the Parliament of Ghana
Prof Muhammad Rashid Mafzool Zaka, Director General (Research) and Founder Member, Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services
The format of the workshop, as always with the AGORA Parliamentary Development Community of Practice events, provided space for interaction of all participants. To make networking not only possible but also effective, organisers assigned “Networking lab” breakout rooms, based on information that participants shared before the workshop about the challenges experienced in their day-to-day work. The following topics were discussed:
- Visibility, value and use of parliamentary research services
- Accessing and managing information
- Capacity, demand and resource constraints
- Balancing depth and timeliness
- Professional development and career progression
- Evaluating the impact of research services
- Working across policy areas and cultures
- Maintaining impartiality
- Working with non-parliamentary agencies and academics
Follow the link to access thematic live Jamboards, where you can explore the topics.
Workshop Programme is available here
Video recording is available on YouTube.