Parliamentary Strengthening Programs: Improving Access, Availability and Governance Through a Self-Paced Learning Program

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2008-09
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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)
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PCF5 Sub-theme: Governance and social justice // After two attempts to develop a parliamentary staff training course in the late 1990s and early 2000’s, the World Bank Institute’s (WBI) Parliamentary Strengthening Program requested guidance from its Evaluation Unit and the Quality Enhancement Group (QEG) to revise and help make more effective its course. The resulting team was comprised of pedagogical and subject area experts1 who examined the program’s goals, objectives and delivery options and suggested a framework for web-based training which has subsequently been developed by WBI in collaboration with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), with guidance on program content provided by the CPA’s earlier Study Group on Parliamentary Staff Training. // The course, now largely developed and in the pilot phase, comprises a series of thirteen learning modules aimed to support parliaments in fulfilling their role in the governance process. It responds to the unique and evolving needs of parliamentary staff who seek to advance democracy by enhancing good governance, strengthening budget oversight, reducing poverty, improving public participation in the policy process, and reducing corruption, among other goals. As it is publicly available on the internet, the program aims to reach a greater share of the world parliamentary and development communities than those who participate in the more traditional face-to-face and moderated web courses alone. // This paper aims to explain the background, rationale and future of the parliamentary strengthening learning program and to evaluate its effectiveness by considering early versions of the course, the evolution towards the current learning program, the pedagogy of computer-based learning, current course content, recent and planned course deliveries, and proposed mechanisms for long term program assessment. // Paper ID 727

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