The House Democracy Partnership (HDP) is a bipartisan commission of the U.S. House of Representatives that works directly with 22 partner parliaments around the world to support the development of effective, independent, and responsive legislatures. HDP is proudly implemented by the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI).
In April 2022, IRI brought current and former congressional staff to Nairobi, Kenya to hold a HDP technical assistance consultancy (TAC) to discuss issues relating to responsive citizen engagement and citizen-centered legislative drafting to protect human rights. The TAC consisted of over 50 members of the Republic of Kenya’s National Assembly staff from varying technical departments. Program sessions covered methods and strategies to serve citizens through legislation, avoiding passing legislation with unintended consequences, how to leverage different advocates to advance policy, and how staff can develop a strong communication strategy related to draft legislation.
By the end of the TAC, delegates had drafted thorough legislation with a deliberate communications strategy. The drafted legislation included topics such as expanded internet access, paid internships, safe meat production, waste management, and reducing cost of living. Overall, the sessions were a mix of interactive lectures and breakout group exercises that encouraged strong coordination between the nine different National Assembly departments in attendance.
In this iteration of the monthly series, Mr. Finlay Muriuki, the Clerk Assistant to the Directorate of Legislative and Procedural Services, shares his reflections from the program.
What parliament and chamber are you a staff member of?
Staff of the National Assembly, Parliament of Kenya.
What HDP program did you participate in?
The technical assistance consultancy titled, “Responsive Citizen Engagement Through Social Media and Citizen-Centered Legislative Drafting.”
What is your favorite thing about your country?
Peace. Kenya is generally a peaceful country.
Why did you decide to become a staff member in Parliament?
To become part of shaping public policy and national growth through sound laws.
Looking back on the HDP program, what was most impactful for you?
The crafting of legislation to address taxation relief for low-income earners was very helpful to me. My Group Coordinator, Mr. Brad Smith, was very helpful and insightful in this regard.
How are you applying your experience from the HDP mission to your role as staff?
I am now keen on properly processing petitions from petitioners seeking parliamentary interventions on matters related to their basic human rights.
What advice would you give to new parliamentary staff?
I would advise them to develop a long-term passion for effective public policy and keep in mind the challenges faced by a majority of the citizenry.
What accomplishments in Parliament are you most proud of?
Parliament is more responsive to people-centered policies and laws.Top