Informing Democracy: Building Capacity to Meet Parliamentarians’ Information and Knowledge Needs

This report summarises the key information challenges faced by parliamentarians and by parliamentary research services as discussed at the one-day conference “Informing Democracy: Building capacity to meet parliamentarians’ information and knowledge needs”, held in Geneva, Switzerland in 2008. 
A central challenge for parliamentarians as outlined in this report is identifying and extracting reliable information from the growing range and number of sources available. As access to reliable and timely information is essential for parliamentarians to perform their duties effectively, parliamentary research services have adapted by offering syntheses of knowledge and information. However, in developing nations and newer democracies this move away from the more traditional role of solely information providers has the added challenge of absent resources and expertise.
The report outlines recommendations for capacity-building programmes targeting parliamentary research services, including:
  • Offering guidance to parliaments to identify their requirements
  • Involving parliaments and parliamentary staff in planning, organising, implementing and delivering the programme
  • Understanding what parliamentarians will need from the service
The report goes on to say that enhanced coordination of organisations who deliver such capacity-building programmes for parliaments would (i) facilitate sharing of best practice, and (ii) improve the quality of support.
To read more, please follow this link to download the full report.
If you use the information detailed in the report, please cite as follows: 
Inter Parliamentary Union (2008) Informing Democracy: Building Capacity to Meet Parliamentarians’ Information and Knowledge Needs. Reports and Documents No.59. Geneva: IPU 
IPU: Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) is a network of national parliaments from around the world that aims to protect and build global democracy through political dialogue and concrete action. To find out more about the work of IPU, please follow this link.
Download  the document  here