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On International Day of Parliamentarism, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association launches its Engagement, Education and Outreach Handbook for Parliaments

If Parliaments are ever going to succeed in having ‘effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels’ and ensure decision-making is ‘responsive, inclusive, participatory, and representative’ (UN SDG 16), then they must engage, listen, educate and share information with their citizens and public. This is the core rationale behind the CPA’s latest publication.

The Engagement, Education and Outreach Handbook: Creating Open, Accountable and Transparent Institutions has been developed for the benefit of the CPA’s 180 Parliaments and Legislatures and is designed to be a practical resource to strengthen their public engagement and outreach focus. The Handbook has been developed with the support and cooperation of national and subnational Legislatures across the Commonwealth and covers a broad spectrum of topics including:

  • how to develop youth engagement activities
  • how to target the right audiences; how to utilise social media
  • how to ensure public input into committee inquiries
  • how to effectively monitor and evaluate outreach and engagement activities to ensure maximum impact.

The CPA Handbook is filled with tips, case studies, templates, checklists and many other useful and accessible tools and resources which Parliaments can quickly extract and utilise for their own practical use. The Handbook is designed for busy Parliamentarians, Clerks and parliamentary officials to access and refer to when needed.

CPA Secretary-General Stephen Twigg said:

“In line with SDG 16, the CPA has a mandate to support our member Branches in strengthening their engagement, education and outreach work. This Handbook seeks to explain the rationale for why Parliaments across the Commonwealth should engage, educate and communicate with the public on the role, work and importance of Parliaments. I am very pleased to add this Handbook to the CPA’s existing institutional strengthening resources and present it to our membership on the International Day of Parliamentarism.”

Download the Handbook

Latest Issue:

Engagement, Education and Outreach Handbook for Commonwealth Parliaments:

This Handbook provides guidance to Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures on how to increase public engagement and outreach, to ensure the public get a greater say in how they are governed.

CPA President and Speaker of the Canadian House of Commons, Hon. Anthony Rota, MP said: 

“International Day of Parliamentarism is a good time to highlight that education and outreach are an important part of a Parliamentarian’s job. The Engagement, Education and Outreach Handbook published by CPA is a new tool which I invite Parliamentarians to consult and use in order to raise awareness of their roles and those of the institutions in which they serve.”

CPA UK Branch President and Speaker of the UK House of Commons, Rt. Hon. Sir Lindsay Hoyle, said,

“As host of the forthcoming G7 Speakers’ Conference, which will be looking at ‘open parliaments’, I believe the CPA’s latest publication will be an invaluable resource to assist Parliaments around the Commonwealth to strengthen public engagement, education and outreach. I highly recommend Speakers across the Commonwealth take note of this handbook as they engage with their key stakeholders and share information with their citizens.”

A digital version of the Engagement, Education and Outreach Handbook for Parliaments is available to read online via ISSUU.



The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association connects, develops, promotes and supports Parliamentarians and their staff to identify benchmarks of good governance and the implementation of the enduring values of the Commonwealth. The CPA is an international community of around 180 Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures working together to deepen the Commonwealth’s commitment to the highest standards of democratic governance.

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