Parliamentary Development

UNDP Somalia
Members of Somalia's New Parliament hold a vote UNDP Somalia

Strengthening parliaments as institutions of governance

 “Representative and effective parliaments can help advance inclusive and sustainable human development, and so improve people’s lives”.
Helen Clark, in the Global Parliamentary Report

Building on its long-term presence and continued engagement in more than 70 countries, UNDP has established its leadership in strengthening parliaments around the globe. UNDP’s approach centers on the core functions of a parliament from the perspective of delivering sustainable human development gains for the nation. UNDP supports parliaments’ response to citizens’ expectations for voice, development and accountability.

Specifically, UNDP delivers technical expertise to:

  • develop the capacity of parliamentarians and works with parliamentary committees on sustainable development issues, such as climate change, energy and environment, gender equality, HIV/AIDS, anti-corruption and the post-2015 development agenda;
  • strengthen the capacity of technical staff and legislators to effectively carry out their three core functions (legislative, representation and oversight) with a focus on sustainable development;
  • support institutional reform through the development and implementation of Parliamentary Strategic Plans;
  • design and implement face-to-face induction courses for newly elected parliamentarians;
  • promote effective budget oversight by Parliament;
  • stimulate the participation of marginalized groups in Parliament (i.e.: women, youth, minorities);
  • expand parliamentary communication and outreach efforts resulting in greater opportunities for citizens to interact with their representatives;
  • reinforce parliamentary administration to support the work of the legislature;
  • facilitate the development of inclusive and participative political institutions (political party reform, committees’ work on priority state-building and peacebuilding legislation);
  • reinforce parliaments' relationships with the executive and judiciary branches of government and with civil society.

UNDP provides parliaments with tailored solutions on a demand-driven basis and integrates best-fit practices and lessons learned from around the world in its technical support. Our approach is sensitive to the context within which parliaments operate; and UNDP engages with relevant stakeholders and organizations beyond the parliament – i.e. civil society organizations (CSOs), the media, and political parties including the opposition – in order to promote ownership and sustainability of the parliamentary strengthening process.

With its partners, UNDP also provides access to two online knowledge platforms for parliamentarians: iKNOW Politics, a portal for the political empowerment of women, and AGORA, the portal for parliamentary development.

Resources: Parliamentary Development Strategy Note


Algeria - Launch of the Action Plan for women parliamentarians

Georgia - Parliament’s Institutional Reform Plan implemented

India – MPs push to double India’s 2020 renewable energy target to 15% in the new Five Year Plan

Lebanon - Legal review of gender equality legal framework conducted and 3 priority laws addressed

Serbia - Public hearings promoted as a standard practice

Sierra Leone – National Youth Strategy reviewed and adopted by the Parliament

Tunisia – Adoption of ‘a constitution of consensus’ by the National Constituent Assembly


Featured Parliamentary Development publications 

Featured Parliamentary Development publications
Featured Parliamentary Development publications

AGORA: Agora is a global knowledge platform on parliamentary development. It serves as an information exchange and a meeting space for Parliamentarians, parliamentary staff and stakeholders; and offers a collection of resources, news update and learning materials.

Induction for First-Time ParliamentariansAn e-learning course designed for new legislators, and parliamentary staff, practitioners, donors, civil society organizations and others who want to learn about how Parliament works.

Climate Portal: The Portal supports parliaments and parliamentarians in tackling climate change and energy issues. 

iKNOW Politics: The International Knowledge Network of Women in Politics is an interactive network of women in politics where members share experiences, resources, advice and collaborate on issues of interest.