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CPA Small Branches Network

 

The CPA Small Branches network represents small jurisdictions of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) to identify their particular needs and requirements in parliamentary strengthening, development and cooperation. CPA Small Branches are classified as those jurisdictions (national and sub-national) with populations of up to 1 million inhabitants. The CPA has a long history of working with its Small Branches and since 1981, has held an annual CPA Small Branches Conference for Parliamentarians to promote cooperation and share best practice. 
Members of the CPA Small Branches network discuss political problems and the operation of democratic systems in some of the world’s smallest jurisdictions.
CPA Small Branches Mission:
To empower small Parliaments to overcome national and global challenges through cooperation, advocacy and the strengthening of parliamentary democracy and good governance.

CPA Small Branches Governance and Structure

Learn more about the CPA Small Branches and who we are.
Structure

The CPA Small Branches network comprises of Commonwealth jurisdictions with populations up to 1,000,000 and operates within the framework of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. It is governed by an elected Chairperson and a Steering Committee of representatives from each of the CPA Regions within the CPA Small Branches network. Staff from the CPA Headquarters Secretariat support the network by coordinating activities alongside its members.

CPA Small Branches Steering Committee

The CPA Small Branches Steering Committee comprises of the CPA Small Branches Chairperson and nine Members who represent the nine Regions of the CPA that include Small Branches: Africa; Australia; Asia; British Islands and the Mediterranean; Canada; Caribbean, Americas and the Atlantic; India; Pacific; and South-East Asia.

The formation of the CPA Small Branches Steering Committee was approved and recommended by the CPA Executive Committee at its Mid-Year Meeting in Mauritius in 2018.

The current list of Regional Representatives on the CPA Small Branches Steering Committee are as follows:

  • CPA Africa Region: Hon. Churchill Gill, MNA (Seychelles)
  • CPA Australia Region: Hon. Mark Monaghan, MLA, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly (Northern Territory)
  • CPA Asia Region: Hon. Eva Abdulla, MP (Maldives)
  • CPA British Islands and Mediterranean Region: Deputy Adrian Gabriel (Guernsey)
  • CPA Canada Region: Mr Brian Warr, MHA (Newfoundland and Labrador)
  • CPA Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic Region: Hon. Barbara Webster-Bourne, MHA, Speaker of the House of Assembly (Anguilla)
  • CPA India Region: Shri Arun Kumar Upreti, MLA, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly (Sikkim)
  • CPA Pacific Region: Hon. Lord Fakafanua, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly (Tonga)
  • CPA South East Asia Region: Vacant (Perlis)

CPA Small Branches Chairperson

The position of CPA Small Branches Chairperson was approved at the 60th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in Yaoundé, Cameroon in 2014 and the first elected Chairperson began in 2016. The CPA Small Branches Chairperson is elected at the CPA Small Branches Conference for a term of three years. 

CPA Small Branches Chairperson

Joy Burch MLA, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory
Chairperson of the CPA Small Branches network (2022-2025)

 


Biography

Joy Burch was elected as CPA Small Branches Chairperson in August 2022 at the 38th CPA Small Branches Conference. Previously she assumed the role of Acting CPA Small Branches Chairperson in February 2021 upon the resignation of the previous CPA Small Branches Chairperson, Hon. Niki Rattle (Cook Islands). She was at the time the Vice-Chairperson of the CPA Small Branches Steering Committee and so assumed the role of Acting CPA Small Branches Chairperson until the next CPA Small Branches Conference.

As CPA Small Branches Chairperson, Joy Burch MLA also becomes a member of the CPA Executive Committee and the CPA Coordinating Committee. 

Joy Burch was first elected to the Legislative Assembly in 2008 and has served on a number of Committees including Administration and Procedure; Health, Ageing, Community and Social Services; and Justice and Community; and has held several Ministerial positions. She served as Deputy Speaker becoming Speaker of the Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory in October 2016.

Under CPA election rules only delegates from CPA Small Branches to the next Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference can take part in the vote to elect a new Chairperson. The next election will take place at the CPA Small Branches Conference in 2025.  

 


Previous CPA Small Branches Chairpersons:

  • 2019-2021: Hon. Niki Rattle, Speaker of the Parliament of the Cook Islands 
  • 2016-2019: Hon. Angelo Farrugia, MP, Speaker of the Parliament of Malta

Download the CPA Small Branches Strategic Plan

Latest Issue:

CPA Small Branches Strategic Plan 2021-2023:

The CPA Small Branches Strategic Plan 2021 - 2023 sets out the network's mission, strategic objectives, and thematic priorities.

CPA Small Branches Programmes

Learn more about the network's projects, activities and events

Regional Initiative Funds - Apply Now

The CPA Small Branches Regional Initiative Fund is a reserve of funding established by the CPA Secretariat with the aim of adding value to the operations of small jurisdictions. 

The Fund seeks to address technical areas related to the functioning of small Legislatures, prioritising initiatives delivered principally through a Clerk exchange. Examples of initiatives may include parliamentary practice and procedure, alleviating resource constraints and improving access to information. 

Find out more

Climate Change and Environmental Governance

'Climate Change and Environmental Governance' is one of three thematic priorities in the CPA Small Branches Strategic Plan 2021-23. 

In July 2022, at a three-day workshop hosted by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Small Branches network and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), twenty-one Members of Parliament from sixteen small states and jurisdictions learned how to navigate the multilateral climate landscape and implement effective climate action.

Read more

Public Financial Management

In 2022, the CPA Small Branches network and the McGill School of Continuing Studies co-published a new handbook, 'Parliamentary Financial Oversight: Adapting PAC Best Practices to Legislatures in Small Jurisdictions'.

This Handbook provides recommendations on how to adapt best practices for financial oversight to the resource and size limitations of smaller legislatures.

The Public Accounts Committees online course on the CPA Parliamentary Academy, co-created by CPA Headquarters and CPA UK with funding from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), also provides a comprehensive overview of the role of Public Accounts Committees, with relevant case studies from small jurisdictions.

Download the Financial Oversight Handbook

CPA Small Branches Conference

The CPA Small Branches Conference, held annually during the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference, is an opportunity for Parliamentarians from small jurisdictions to examine and discuss strategies to meet the unique developmental needs of the CPA’s smallest Legislatures.

The 39th CPA Small Branches Conference is due to be held in Accra, Ghana, at the 66th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in October 2023.

About the 38th CPA Small Branches Conference

CPA Small Branches Resources

Browse CPA and Commonwealth articles and publications

Blog | Climate Change, Democracy and Parliaments

Members of Parliament from Barbados, Belize and Seychelles reflect on key takeaways from the 'Empowering Climate Democracy' workshop co-hosted by CPA Small Branches and UNDP.
Read the blog

Blog | Seychelles: A Parliament for the Planet

Find out how the Seychelles National Assembly took action on climate change and transformed its approach to sustainability
Read the blog

Blog | The CPA at COP26

The CPA Secretary-General reflects on the GLOBE COP26 Legislators Summit, hosted in Edinburgh from 5-6 November 2021
Read the blog

Download our resources

Parliamentary Financial Oversight: Adapting PAC Best Practices to Legislatures in Small Jurisdictions

This Handbook provides recommendations on how to adapt best practices for financial oversight to the resource and size limitations of smaller legislatures.

CPA Small Branches Handbook on Lay Members of Parliament

This Handbook serves as an information resource on the adoption of lay members into small states and territories' parliamentary systems.

Climate Change and Small States: Parliamentary Toolkit

The Toolkit seeks to support parliamentarians from small states and jurisdictions to increase their understanding of Climate Change and how best to ensure adaptation and mitigation strategies are in place domestically and internationally. 

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Meet the CPA HQ Team

Contact us if you'd like to know more about the network
James Pinnell
Deputy Head of Programmes - Multilateral Engagement
CPA Headquarters Secretariat james.pinnell@cpahq.org
Jack Hardcastle
Programme Manager - Small Branches Coordinator
CPA Headquarters Secretariat jack.hardcastle@cpahq.org