U.S. House of Representatives Assists the Development of Foreign Legislatures and Research Services

Helping improve the effectiveness, reliability and accountability of foreign legislatures, the House Democracy Partnership (HDP) hosted parliamentary research staff from Afghanistan, Georgia, Haiti, Indonesia, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Macedonia, Mongolia, Pakistan and Timor-Leste for a week-long seminar focused on legislative research, analysis and drafting.  Topics ranged from engaging with legislators, budget and legal analysis, finding innovative sources of information, the development of a professional research service, public opinion polling and legislative oversight. 

With support from IRI, the HDP, chaired by Representative Peter Roskam (R-IL) and co-chaired by Representative David Price (D-NC), presented the 24 delegates the opportunity to interact and engage with congressional staff, technical experts from the Congressional Research Service (CRS), professional pollsters, and policy experts.  The delegation attended a luncheon hosted at IRI with keynote speaker Sara Mendelson, director of the human rights initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, who talked about 21st century challenges and opportunities for democratic development. 

Throughout the week participants discussed mutual challenges they face, learned best practices and enhanced their knowledge and ability to conduct research, draft legislation and remain nonpartisan.  Paul Kiplangat Ngetich, the Kenyan director of research and information, noted that upon returning home he plans to “share knowledge of best practices in policy analysis,” as well as the “proposal to restructure the research service in a way that delivers results.” 

Arben Loshi, the director of research, library and archives from Kosovo, added, “In my country we are in the process of creating a budget analysis sector, and I will try to transpose the CRS model into our research service.”

Before their departure the delegates thanked the HDP for sharing their knowledge and expressed gratitude for their respective legislature’s partnership with the U.S. House of Representatives.

HDP was established in 2005 as a bipartisan commission of the U.S. House of Representatives which works directly with partner countries around the world to support the development of effective, independent and responsive legislative institutions.  

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