Opening date for nominations: 9th April 2016
Closing date for nominations: 23rd April 2016
Effective and Efficient Management of Parliamentary Committees
The Parliament of Pakistan is a bicameral federal legislature consisting of the Senate and the National Assembly with each of Pakistan’s four provinces having an elected legislative body or Provincial Assembly. Parliament (including the Senate, National Assembly and Provincial Assembly) is supported by the vital work of Parliamentary Committees. Parliamentary Committees serve as powerful channels to promote transparency, accountability and ensure that policy and legislative development are properly examined. They are one of the most important mechanisms by which legislatures hold state institutions accountable, question executive policies and investigate issues of public concern.
Parliamentary Committees in Pakistan have not been able to function at their full potential largely due to a lack of institutional stability and weak secretariat capacity resulting from Pakistan’s long history of disrupted democratic development. Currently, Parliamentary Secretariats lack the capacity and skills to support Parliamentary Committees in conducting their crucial work. Policy-makers and planners believe that Parliamentary Committees require both improved management capacity, and supporting structures, in order to effectively and efficiently support parliamentarians to perform their representative, legislative and oversight functions. This skills gap is compounded by a lack of resources for legislative and policy research and weak institutional linkages with civil society.
Pakistan shares a common parliamentary heritage with Australia in applying the Westminster democratic system of government, including the use of committees as the ‘engine room’ of parliamentary activities. Both countries have also learned the value of using such committees to enhance democracy and the scrutiny of government. Pakistan has established a number of standing and special committees at the national and provincial levels, together with supporting Civil Society organisations. A list of current Senate, National Assembly and Provincial committees is provided by the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT) at their website; www.pildat.org.
To address the above mentioned skills gap and to respond to a request of the Government of Pakistan, the Australian Government offered the Effective and Efficient Management of Parliamentary Committees Short Course Award in 2014 under the Australia Awards Pakistan program. The program was designed to enhance the capacity of middle to senior level public servants managing the Parliamentary Committees of Pakistan’s National and Provincial Assemblies. The course was developed following high level consultations between the Government of Pakistan and the Australian High Commission, Islamabad , during which a potential to learn from Australia’s parliamentary committee system was identified. The course was delivered to 19 participants over a three week period in Australia, with delivery in Brisbane and Canberra.
The Government of Pakistan has requested support from the Australian Government for a second iteration of the course in 2016. This updated and slightly revised course is to be delivered using many of the successful approaches applied previously, and additionally, will also include a Training of Trainer (TOT) component.
The primary purpose of this Short Course Award (SCA) in Effective and Efficient Management of Parliamentary Committees is to enhance the capacity of middle to senior level public servants managing the Parliamentary Committees of Pakistan’s National and Provincial Assemblies.
A maximum of twenty participants will be selected for this course.
The objectives for the proposed Short Course Award are:
This SCA targets a maximum of twenty Parliamentary Secretariat employees working at the national or provincial levels who are directly engaged with the management and support for the Parliamentary Committees of the National and Provincial Assemblies, as well as the Senate. The participants will be middle to senior level government officials from the Pakistan civil services. They will either be currently employed by the public sector at the federal or provincial levels, or will be employed as officers on long term contract with the Government of Pakistan.
Gender equity will be maintained in the initial nomination and also in the final selected participants list for the SCA. The nominations will be provided by the RCSC in a prioritised ranking order. Similarly, a prioritised list of two to three nominations as reserve candidates will also be provided, in the event some of the selected participants are not able to attend the SCA due to unavoidable circumstances.
English language proficiency amongst officers of the civil service in Pakistan is proficient. Interpreting services will not be required for delivery of this short course.
At the completion of the short course, trainees will have developed the skills and knowledge required to:
Return to Work Plans:
Development of a Return to Work Plan that applies the knowledge and skills gained from the course in a manner appropriate to the work context in Pakistan, will be a key deliverable in this SCA. The RTW Plan will define how participants will approach delivering similar training to their counterparts and colleagues. Participants will be equipped with a TOT toolkit (templates, tips, principles) to guide the development of the training components of their RTW Plans.
Approach to Course Delivery:
Modalities expected for delivery of this Short Course:
The curriculum and course structure will be designed to be appropriate to the level and experience of the target recipients. It is expected that the course program will incorporate hypothetical scenario activities in line with the action based learning approach.
Dedicated TOT sessions and the integration of TOT principles throughout the course will occur through the use of workshops and group work activities. These will be structured to include method reflection at the end of each selected module/section.
Schedule and Duration of Training:
The Short Course Award will be delivered over a three week period (15 training days) in Australia.
The services are proposed for deliveryin accordance with the following schedule: