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Keywords:

  • Governance and Democracy;
  • Comparative Politics;
  • Legislative Training Needs Assessment;
  • Asia-Pacific;
  • Legislative Strengthening;
  • Legislative Capacity-Building Initiatives;
  • Marshall Islands;
  • Papua New Guinea;
  • Timor-Leste;
  • Tonga;
  • Vanuatu

There is universal agreement among development stakeholders that parliaments play a crucial role in enhancing good governance, economic growth, and development as well as the general quality of democracy. It follows from this fact that several international organizations (IOs) have embarked in activities that seek to strengthen legislative capacity. However, we note that there is a lack of consensus—among IOs and in key literature—on the right approach to strengthen parliaments. Consequently, IOs have been offering varying legislative-strengthening exercises that have inevitably produced significantly different and, at times, disappointing outcomes. Using a multicase study design that includes five Pacific countries, we show that to attain positive and significant outcomes, legislative capacity-building initiatives need to be country specific and informed by local needs assessment. We further reassert that no amount of legislative capacity-building effort can enhance parliamentary performance in the absence of local political will.

Related Articles

Nohlen, Dieter. 2009. “Constitutional Jurisdiction and the Consolidation of Democracy.” Politics & Policy 37 (1): 3-30. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1747-1346.2008.00159.x/abstract Legler, Thomas F. 2012. “The Shifting Sands of Regional Governance: The Case of Inter-American Democracy Promotion.” Politics & Policy 40 (5): 848-870. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1747-1346.2012.00382.x/abstract Pelizzo, Riccardo. 2008. “The Cartel Party and the Italian Case.” Politics & Policy 36 (3): 474-498. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1747-1346.2008.00117.x/abstract

Related Media

Data and Statistics: United Nations Development Program. 2011. http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home.html

Hay un consenso entre los interesados en el desarrollo de que los legislativos juegan un papel crucial en la ampliación del buen gobierno, el crecimiento economico y el desarrollo asi como de la general calidad de la democracia. Es por esta razón que varias Organizaciones Internacionales (OI) han asumido actividades que buscan fortalecer a los legislativos. Sin embargo notamos que no hay consenso entre las OI, sobre la forma correcta de fortalecer la capacidad legislativa. Consecuentemente, las OI han estado ofreciendo varios ejercicios de fortalecimiento, que inevitablemente han producido diferentes, cuando decepcionantes resultados. Con un diseño de multicasos de estudio de cinco naciones del pacífico demostramos que para obtener resultados positivos y significativos las iniciativas necesitan ser específicas y basadas en evaluaciones de necesidades. Concluimos que se require acompañar de voluntad política cualquier esfuerzo de construcción de capacidades para que efectivamente se pueda mejorar el desempeño legislativo.