As part of the IPU’s technical support to parliaments, a group of experts from the IPU was in N’Djamena in December 2018 to help strengthen the parliament as well as guide MPs on crafting better legislation, particularly around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The IPU provided the support following a request from the National Assembly, in anticipation of parliamentary elections announced for May.
The current unicameral legislature in Chad is made up of 177 members, of whom 15 per cent are women. The new constitution of May 2018 eliminates the post of Prime Minister with the President becoming the sole head of the executive.
Around 100 participants attended the meetings, including MPs and parliamentary staff. An IPU workshop provided training on drafting legislation and amendments to legislation, as well as improving cooperation between MPs, assistants and parliamentary staff.
MPs also conducted a self-assessment on their readiness to implement the SDGs, using the IPU-UNDP self-assessment toolkit. The exercise helped parliamentarians become more acquainted with the SDGs and how they can be better integrated into national legislation. The government has prioritized the following as critical for the development of the country: SDG 2 (Zero hunger), SDG 13 (Climate Action), SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy) and SDG 5 (Gender Equality).
Following the self-assessment, the MPs drew up a plan of action for 2019 and 2020. Priorities include better definition of the scope of the parliamentary committee dedicated to SDGs, regular progress reports on SDG implementation during budget sessions, and outreach work with target populations to raise awareness about the SDGs.
The IPU team also evaluated the needs of the National Assembly to help modernize and reinforce the institution. One of the more pressing needs that came out was the importance of training staff for the induction of new MPs in anticipation of the elections scheduled for May.
The IPU’s support to the National Assembly of Chad is based on the Common Principles for Support to Parliaments, endorsed by the Parliament in May 2016.