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Indicators for democratic parliaments

Since 2019, IPU has convened a multi-stakeholder initiative to draft a set of Indicators for democratic parliaments, based on SDG targets 16.6 and 16.7. The purpose of the Indicators is to support parliaments’ learning and developing.

By analyzing their institution against the assessment criteria set out in the Indicators, parliaments will develop a clear picture of their current strengths and weaknesses and will be better equipped to identify priorities for their future development. Use of the Indicators is based on the principle of self-assessment by parliament, to ensure full ownership of the evaluation process and its results.  

We welcome contact from parliaments that want to find out more about how they can use the Indicators to assess their capacity and performance.

External website on the indicators.

About the Indicators

This initiative aims to develop a set of reliable, comprehensive and universally relevant indicators for assessing parliamentary capacity and performance that cover all aspects of parliamentary activity.

A Preliminary version of the Indicators was published in April 2022. It contains 25 indicators that comprise 111 Dimensions and 498 assessment criteria. The assessment criteria are graded on a scale from “Non-existent” to “Excellent”. Evidence is required to justify the choice of grade for each assessment criteria.

The indicators are organized around the aspirational targets set out in SDG 16:

  • effective, accountable and transparent institutions
  • responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making

These targets have been agreed by all the world’s governments and form part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. They provide a useful framework for thinking about the characteristics of a democratic parliament.

Partners

The Indicators have been jointly developed by a range of organizations that work with parliaments and convened by the IPU. Partners to the initiative are: European Commission, InterPares, Westminister Foundation for Democracy (WFD), National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), Directorio Legislativo, UNDP and UN Women.

The Indicators have been pilot tested with more than 20 parliaments from different regions. Testing with parliaments will continue with the Preliminary version of the Indicators.

Feedback on the Preliminary version of the Indicators

The Preliminary version of the Indicators was published in April 2022 and is currently open for feedback. Parliaments, organizations that work with parliaments and any interested stakeholders are invited to provide feedback on their experience of using the Preliminary version of the Indicators.

Comments, questions and suggestions can be sent by e-mail to standards@ipu.org.

Based on the feedback received, IPU and partners expects to publish the first full version of the Indicators (version 1.0) in 2023.

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Overview and FAQ

Indicator structure

Indicators for democratic parliaments, based on SDG targets 16.6 and 16.7. Preliminary version, April 2022