As part of its work to help parliaments strengthen themselves, the IPU facilitated a six-day self-assessment with the National Assembly of Zambia. The exercise, which took place in Lusaka from 20 to 25 February 2019, used two of the IPU’s toolkits: Evaluating parliament: A self-assessment toolkit for parliaments to rate performance, and a new toolkit to assess the Parliament’s oversight performance. Two of the six days were dedicated to training parliamentary staff to be facilitators.
IPU toolkits are designed to allow parliaments to self-evaluate what they have, what’s missing and what action they need to take in a particular area.
Before the self-assessment, the Zambian parliament tailored the toolkits to the specific national context, publishing them as National Assembly documents. This is in keeping with the IPU’s philosophy that parliaments should take ownership of their development. The Parliament also created its own digital tools to carry out the self-assessments, the first time this has been done. In her closing speech, the Deputy Speaker said that the parliament would continue carrying out regular self-assessments and promote the approach to other parliaments. In line with the IPU’s encouragement of peer-to-peer learning and exchange between national parliaments, three experts from the Parliament of Uganda helped to guide the exercise.
The exercise was attended by 50 MPs and 50 parliamentary staff. Participants worked not only across departments but also across party lines.