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A new guide to the Common Principles

Training in Myanmar

Myanmar MPs engage with citizens. © Saw Bwe Doe Aye

The IPU has just published Putting parliamentary self-development into practice: A Guide to the Common Principles for Support to Parliaments. As the global organization of national parliaments, one of the IPU’s core functions is to strengthen parliaments.

The Common Principles set out a basis for support to parliaments by providing a development framework for the work of parliaments, support bodies and practitioners. The Principles have been widely accepted: they have been endorsed by 135 national parliaments, 7 parliamentary assemblies and 19 partner organizations worldwide.

The Principles are based on the premise that every parliament is unique and has different needs. The individual parliament is best placed to understand these needs. Partnerships with other organizations, such as the IPU, other parliaments and international organizations, can help to build its capacity.

The new Guide to the Principles provides practical suggestions to help parliaments devise their own, locally appropriate development programme. Topics covered include identifying and managing change, and how to work with external development partners. Rather than being prescriptive, the Guide uses a “show, don’t tell” structure, highlighting good practices that parliaments could adapt for their own situation.

The Guide is primarily intended for parliamentarians and parliamentary staff, but also for people engaged in parliamentary development.