Please briefly summarise the number, type and headline findings from any impact evaluations completed in the last ten years on parliamentary and party assistance (programme specific or broader). Restrict evaluations to those that have used rigorous evaluation processes, summarise impact evidence and not lessons learned, and try to identify planned evaluations as well as existing evaluations.
The impacts of parliamentary and party support have not received much
analysis; there are a few rigorous evaluations, but significant evidence
gaps remain. The existing evaluations are non-experimental short-term
studies, which use case studies, interviews and literature reviews as
their analysis methods. In general, they emphasise processes, outcomes
and activities, rather than the specific impacts of parliamentary and
The limitations have been attributed to a number of factors. Firstly,
evaluations of socio-political processes are notoriously difficult to
conduct, because democratic change is essentially ‘domestically driven’
and occurs over a long period of time. Secondly, there is a lack of
consensus surrounding what is considered to be an impact. Thirdly, the
design of party and parliamentary programmes can undermine impact
evaluations. Programmes are often orientated around capacity building
activities, which have a narrow set of indicators and inadequate
monitoring and evaluation frameworks.
Commonly articulated impacts of parliamentary and party assistance programmes include:
- improvements in the use of information technology and communications,
for example through the creation of parliamentary websites or active
use of intranet websites (e.g. Benin, Morocco, Azerbaijan);
- an enhanced scrutinising role of parliamentary committees, evidenced
in an increase in the number of questions submitted on bills (e.g.
- improvement in the functioning of parliamentary committees (e.g.
- increase in the use of oversight procedures, such as formal questions
(or interpellations) and commissions of inquiry (e.g. Niger).
Hinds, R. Impact of parliamentary and party assistance (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report). Governance and Social Development Resource Centre, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK (2013) 10 pp.