Parliament of Namibia undertakes CPA Benchmarks assessment to focus on parliamentary strengthening and reform
A delegation from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Headquarters met with the Parliament of Namibia last week as part of a CPA Benchmarks self-assessment.
The CPA’s Recommended Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures provide a framework for excellence in Commonwealth parliamentary and legislative practice and were updated to include the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG16 on strong and sustainable democratic institutions. In recent years, 25 Commonwealth Parliaments have undertaken further assessments against the updated CPA Benchmarks.
As part of their visit, the CPA delegation met with the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Loise Kasingo, and the Chairperson of the National Council, Hon. Lukas Sinimbo Muha, as well as Members of Parliament and senior parliamentary staff from both Houses. CPA officials also held meetings with a number of other stakeholders including from the Offices of the Attorney-General, Auditor-General and Electoral Commissioner, as well as representatives of Namibian Civil Society.
Above: The CPA Headquarters team meet with Members of Parliament and officials at the Parliament of Namibia.
Speaking about the self-assessment, the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Namibia, Hon. Loide Kasingo, said:
“Namibia is Constitutional Democracy firmly entrenched in the values and principles of human rights, rule of law and good governance. As such, we welcome the CPA team to assist us self-assess on the CPA Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures. This will allow us to improve in areas where we are lacking.”
Furthermore, the Chairperson of the National Council of Namibia, Hon. Lukas Sinimbo Muha, said:
“The Parliament of Namibia welcomes the Benchmarks Self-Assessment as a tool for us to compare our practices to standards developed by the CPA and adopted by fellow member Parliaments. This important exercise will help the Parliament of Namibia reflect on its strengths and create objectives and strategies to improve on its weaknesses. I am sure the outcomes of this CPA visit will motivate both Members and staff to redouble their efforts to make the Parliament of Namibia more effective.”
The CPA Benchmarks assessment was supported by Josephine Watera, Assistant Director (Department of Research Services), Parliament of Uganda, and Fraser McIntosh, Good Governance Project Manager from CPA Headquarters.
Following the visit, a report will be formulated with recommendations for reform to strengthen parliamentary institutions in Namibia. The outcomes report will play an important role in developing the effectiveness of the Parliament and contribute to its implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The CPA Secretary-General, Stephen Twigg, said:
“Effective Parliaments are the cornerstone of good governance and the CPA works to ensure that Legislatures can function to their maximum potential. Self-assessment against to the CPA Benchmarks ensures that Parliaments can vigorously scrutinise their practices and procedures to become better performing Legislatures. In addition, the CPA Benchmarks assessments have strengthened public outreach, engagement and confidence.”
This CPA Benchmarks assessment is being supported with project funding from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) aimed at further parliamentary democracy and good governance across the Commonwealth. The CPA supports Parliaments to fulfil the outcomes of the self-assessments through CPA Technical Assistance Programmes, which could involve updating the rules of procedures, training for Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff, or developing corporate policies. These project outputs will strengthen parliamentary institutions for improved good governance.
To find out more about this project please email email@example.com. The CPA's Recommended Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures are available to download on the CPA website.
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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