WBI: Strengthening Parliamentary Oversight of National Budgets in Africa

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“This is a contribution by by Paulina Biernacka, Parliamentary Strenghtening Program, World Bank Institute, one of AGORA's partners. To read more about the work of WBI, please click here”.

The Wold Bank Institute's Parliamentary Strengthening Program seeks to foster and strengthen parliamentary networks and communities of practice around the budget process in order to act as platforms for knowledge exchange, south-south learning, and structured learning. 

A feature of the regional networks such as Southern African Development Community Organization of Public Accounts Committees (SADCOPAC) and Eastern African Association of Public Accounts Committees (EAAPAC) is regular action planning processes, which help translate global and regional knowledge into country level action. 

A primary objective is to link global experience to country-level action. A results-focused parliamentary strengthening model empowers parliamentary institutions to clarify the development goal they wish to achieve, diagnose capacity constraints impeding attainment of the goal, design and implement reforms necessary to achieve the development objective, and evaluate the effectiveness of the reforms in order to facilitate peer learning. Often impact is enhanced when multiple demand-side stakeholders work collaboratively in order to diagnose constraints and design and implement reforms.

WBI works with Parliaments in order to draw linkages between global knowledge and national action.  It does this by facilitating processes that enables parliaments to surface priorities for engagement and identify actions and results achieved due to involvement in capacity building processes. In this way, the stakeholders have ownership over the actions to be taken at the country-level. 

WBI asked Parliaments to self-identify some of the results they have achieved or institutional reforms they have implemented, which were assisted by participating in regional capacity building networks.  Please see the document "Strengthening Parliamentary Oversight of National Budgets in Africa" for a list of some of the highlights.

PHOTO: Arne Hoel / World Bank