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Support to democracy building in developing countries increased after 1990. It is gradually seen less as a technical exercise and more as a challenging, politically sensitive area of cooperation. Norway has supported the strengthening of democratic institutions with approximately 12 billion kroner in the last ten years, and as seen in this study a relatively small share was allocated to legislatures. The study discusses different models of legislatures and political and electoral systems, with particular emphasis on fragile states. It also presents an overview of agencies specialised in this field, and of trends of donor support. The authors find relatively few systematic evaluations of the results of support to legislatures, but identify some lessons from the literature for future work in this area: 1) understand political economy, 2) have a long-term, comprehensive approach, 3) mobilise sufficient expertise, and 4) establish (in the case of Norway) strategic donor partnerships. The report was commissioned by Norad, and is available at:

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