SPSP help to engage the wider community

Women
SPSP aims at engaging the women of Samoa more widely to increase numbers of women parliamentarians. Photo credit: UNDP Samoa MCO.

Samoa’s national development priorities and the achievement of the Millenium Development Goals (MDG) benefit from the implementation of the Samoa Parliamentary Support Project (SPSP). Under the umbrella of the broader MDG Acceleration Programme, the SPSP is backed with financial support from AusAID and the Government of Samoa and is coordinated by the United Nations Development Programme.

SPSP at work

  • One of the main outcomes of the SPSP is aimed at engaging the women of Samoa more widely to increase numbers of women parliamentarians, which currently sit at 2 of 49.
  • One of the goals is to Strengthen the capacity, leadership and accountability of Members of Parliament so they and perform their functions and duties effectively.

The Samoa Parliamentary Support Project, implemented by the Government of Samoa is a project aimed at strengthening parliamentary processes and capacities to better engage with national development issues. Working with Members of Parliament and the supporting secretariat, the SPSP also aims to more greatly engage the wider community. One of the main outcomes of the SPSP is aimed at engaging the women of Samoa more widely to increase numbers of women parliamentarians, which currently sit at 2 of 49.
 
In the fifty years following Samoa’s independence, the island state has developed into a prosperous and stable country, combined with a strong sense of traditional life. The Samoa Parliamentary Support Project was created after recognition was given to the need for capacity development of Members of Parliament and a deepening of legislation. It was recognised that funding and attention to parliamentary support had been limited. In response, the Office of the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly (OCLA) with financial assistance from AusAID, the Pacific Parliamentary Project and the United Nations Development Program is coordinating the implementation of the project with a budget of approximately 1 million USD over three years, from 2012 -2015.
The long-term financial and structural constraints are tackled by the Office of the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly (OCLA) and the project encompasses improvements to IT, research and library services and a complete restructure of the parliamentary administration and its function. The technical guidance supplied by AusAID under the Pacific Parliamentary Partnerships links the Government of Samoa with the Parliament of Tasmania.
The overall goal intends to provide a clear framework that not only defines the relevant activities and clear outputs of parliamentary work but to synergize these through a clear process that consolidates to achieve common outcomes. 

The project will be monitored and evaluated against key performance indicators designed to guide the development of project activities and their implementation ensuring that long-term outcomes are realised.
The primary goals of the project include:
•         Strengthening the capacity, leadership and accountability of Members of Parliament so they and perform their functions and duties effectively;
•         Empowering OCLA staff to provide required support to parliamentarians;
•         Strengthening the law making and committee processes in parliament to ensure people-centred legislation through effective and transparent scrutiny by Members of Parliament and meaningful public participation;
•         Improving engagement of the public with Members of Parliament and parliamentary processes and development of community outreach initiatives;
•         Ensuring efficient, professional and high quality administrative support and services are provided to MPs and other key client groups.