The House Democracy Partnership (HDP) is a bipartisan commission of the U.S. House of Representatives that works directly with over 20 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 this month’s alumni profile, Gabriel Duarte, Head of the Department of Parliamentary Research and Documentation, shares his experience participating in HDP programming.
In which Parliament and Chamber do you work?
In the Congress of the Republic of Peru, which consists of a single chamber.
What HDP program did you participate in?
In the Technical Assistance Consultancy “Enhancing Budgetary and Scientific Research to Better Serve Citizens” held on April 25-27, 2023.
What do you want other people to know about your country?
Peru is a developing country that, although it does not have the budget of the most developed countries to achieve everything it desires, has solid institutions that are constantly seeking to rely on different tools and mechanisms to meet the needs of all Peruvians. This is not alien to the Parliament, since we are committed to strengthening our bodies and improving the products and services we offer to all Peruvians.
Why did you decide to work in Parliament?
The Parliament is the representative body of the nation, responsible for carrying out the legislative functions, political control and other functions established by the Constitution, and I personally consider it important to add my knowledge and skills to the professionalism of the bodies that comprise it and the fulfillment of parliamentary functions.
Looking back on the HDP program, what was most impactful for you?
I was positively impacted to know that the Department of Parliamentary Research and Documentation of the Congress of the Republic of Peru, has great similarities with the Congressional Research Service (CRS), because we start from the same characteristics, such as being apolitical, impartial, and providing high-quality information. This brings me great satisfaction because I believe that, to the extent that we receive more resources and continue to improve the capabilities of our staff, we will be able to continue improving along the lines of what we have been doing and having the CRS as a reference.
How are you applying your experience from the HDP mission to your role as a staff member?
I share the vision of the HDP, given that the work of all public servants must be focused on promoting and strengthening their institution and achieving an efficient and effective government at the service of the citizen. As a congressional official, I specifically apply it to the promotion of open Parliament, through transparency and easy access to information for all our users.
What information, if any, that you gained through the HDP program have you shared with fellow legislative staff?
Thanks to the HDP program, we have been able to gather valuable information that we can use to improve our Parliament, taking as a model what works successfully in other countries, such as the United States. One of the points we obtained through the program that has been of great importance to share is based on the importance of the research areas of Congress in the legislative proposals made by parliamentarians, due to the work done by specialists identifying problems and exploring options to cover them. This is valued by parliamentarians, who draft bills taking into account such information. Also, the relevance of the different services they provide to congressmen, such as seminars, direct consultations, or reports on the political or social context. It is interesting to share these successful practices in order to promote the increased use of research services when drafting legislative proposals, since this will be reflected in quality bills that will have a positive impact on society.
What advice would you give to new parliamentary officials?
To the new parliamentary officials, I would say that it is extremely important to have a vocation of service and love for Peru. The work they do must be focused on the common good, the defense of democracy and the strengthening of Congress as an institution, so that, in this way, congresspeople have a solid foundation to improve the quality of life of Peruvians, through bills that make a significant contribution.
What accomplishments in parliament are you most proud of?
Currently, it is important to highlight the work being done by Congress to promote, on an ongoing basis, the Open Parliament. This has been a great step forward in bringing Parliament closer to citizens and citizen participation in parliamentary work, closing the gaps between the two. This is reinforced thanks to the digital government that allows the digitization of information, making it available to all, promoting transparency and accountability and, therefore, creating a relationship of trust.Top