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Informing Democracy: Building capacity to meet parliamentarians' information and knowledge needs

ʺKnowledge is powerʺ runs the adage. During the Conference on 'Informing Democracy', held in October 2008, a participant completed it by adding “and we are trying to make very powerful MPs”. This aspiration is fundamental to the quality of parliamentary performance and the quality of democracy itself. The conference aimed at enhancing dialogue, mutual understanding and good practices among three segments of the parliamentary community – parliamentarians, Secretaries General and parliamentary library and research officers. The report of the conference identifies some of the numerous information challenges faced by parliamentarians, and by parliamentary libraries and research services in meeting their needs. It also points out ways in which parliaments are addressing these challenges, and sets out a path for greater international cooperation.

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