The IPU provides technical support to parliaments, including on information and communication technology (ICT) projects. Over the last few months, the IPU has worked with the Parliaments of Sri Lanka, Vanuatu and Zambia to set up digital repositories for their respective parliamentary libraries. The projects encourage parliamentary staff to transfer their newly acquired knowledge to other parliaments.
As part of this, the Chief Librarian of the Zambia’s National Assembly presented a paper on digital repositories to parliamentary librarians from 42 countries at the 33rd IFLAPARL Pre-Conference. The event, which was organized by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) on 15-18 August 2017 in Warsaw, aimed to allow parliamentary librarians to share their experiences. The IFLA also organized training for the librarians before and after the event.
Two staff members of the Vanuatu Parliament also took part in the pre-conference and the training programme. The IPU has been working with the Parliament of Vanuatu to plan strategically its IT modernisation with a focus on strengthening digital storage to help preserve institutional digital assets.
The support provided by the IPU to these parliaments has led to cooperation between them. For example, after the completion of a technical support mission to Sri Lanka, the Assistant Librarian of the Sri Lankan Parliament participated in an IPU mission to enhance the digital library of the National Assembly of Zambia. This peer-to-peer support was beneficial for the National Assembly of Zambia as well as the Parliament of Sri Lanka, which was able to enrich its own knowledge with comparative experiences. In turn, the Chief Librarian of the National Assembly of Zambia passed on her expertise to parliamentary librarians, including from Vanuatu, at the IFLA pre-conference.
The IPU hopes to replicate this experience-sharing in future projects.
The cooperation between parliaments is not only building partnerships but changing the way effective parliamentary support is conceived.