In 2002, the authorities of the Parliament of Pakistan sought the support of the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in strengthening its operations. In the light of the report of an UNDP/IPU mission in 2003, a project, Strengthening Democracy through Parliamentary Development (SDPD), was initiated.
Led by Parliament, with support from the UNDP and IPU, the SDPD Project provided Parliamentarians with access to a range of orientation and capacity building opportunities offered through national and international sponsored programmes. These afforded participants an opportunity to gain information and to strengthen links with civil society and the media. Technical capacity building and institutional strengthening of the Parliament’s Secretariats was undertaken in the hope that progressively enhanced support could be delivered to Parliament and Parliamentarians. The overall outcome envisaged for the Parliament in the SDPD Project Document was long term. A Review Team, comprising a representative of the UNDP, the IPU, and a national consultant, was tasked to develop a framework for a future UNDP Parliamentary assistance project based on a progress review of the SDPD Project. The Review Team conducted its work from 15 to 27 February, 2009, using a methodology of extensive interviews and a thorough review of relevant documents. The review mission found that achievement of the overall outcome would not have been realistic within the lifetime of the Project, given the nature of Parliament in 2003, the programme design and availability of resources of the SDPD Project. The mission concluded that the project had made a significant contribution to enhancing the role of Parliament but that much remains to be done. The mission identified the following considerations for future support to strategically complement and build on the outputs achieved under SDPD :
- The Parliament requires support in all key functions. The MNAs and Senators do not have the resources (human, financial or infrastructure) to address the concerns of citizens (i.e. – constituency relations). This lack of support is also obvious in the work of Parliamentary committees.
- The Secretariats in both Houses of the Parliament lack the skills and capacity to support the Parliamentarians with regard to crucial work: drafting of laws and amendments to laws, committee work, and research.
- With regard to third party relations, Parliament and Parliamentarians have not established strong relationships with CSOs, media and citizens. There is a lack of understanding of the key role all play in a democratic society. This is a key underlying factor in the many of challenges facing Pakistani democracy.
The four strategic interventions identified for the project are:
- Support to a selected (up to four a year) number of Parliamentary Committees
- Enhancing the skills of Secretariat staff that work with Committees
- Working with CSOs to create effective advocacy on behalf of citizens
- Better coordination of Aid and support to the Federal Parliament (for details, annex 4)
Based on the above, second phase of SDPD was designed for next four years, which came into effect on October 1, 2009 and will finish its term on September 30, 2013. Under the agreed framework of support during Phase II, the current support for the Pakistani National Assembly and the Senate aims to focus assist specific committees to improve their legislative and oversight work, for an effective Parliament with limited resources.
It was, thus, agreed under an operative MoU with the Parliament secretariats and the Govt of Pakistan, that second phase of the UNDP’s Parliamentary support would focus a select number of committees, as a pivot. It was intended that the assistance through training to Parliamentary staff and civil society organizations and through the use of long-term technical advice and support to MNAs and Senators (Members of committees), would have a direct impact on the capacity of the Parliament to pass quality legislation, scrutinize the executive branch and reflect the needs of Pakistani citizens. Within this work support to the women’s caucus and any other caucuses would continue and would build on the success of the women’s caucus supported by SDPD in first phase.
The major activities ofSDPD-II revolve around three components:
- Capacity Development (Parliamentarians, parliamentary staff and Civil society)
Under the agreed MoU, a national technical adviser had to be engaged for each committee identified and one international senior technical adviser who would be a backstop for the national advisers in their work with the committees. The technical advisers would thus be the entry points for both procedural challenges and the provision of information with regard to specific, substantive topics. The committees would be supported in conducting public consultations and public hearings. At the same time, CSOs will be supported in enhancing their ability to make presentations before the committees.
Secretariats of both the Houses are considered to be the institutional, long-term wings of the Parliament. MNAs and Senators come and go, but staff remains the key focal point for Parliamentary parties. With this in view, project involved three areas of support for training of the staff: committee work, research and legislative drafting.
- Citizen Advocacy
Considering the importance of responsiveness in a strong democracy and of civil society’s role therein, ensuring an effective dialogue between the citizens of Pakistan and their Parliament is crucial to the long-term viability of democratic institutions. In order to have a dialogue, there are at least two parties that must have the knowledge and capacity to engage in discussions. To that end, project envisaged support and information to be provided to civil society and the citizens of Pakistan. Also, considering the importance of media’s engagement with Parliamentarians, the project entailed specific support to media to strengthen its constructive and enabling role for democracy.
- Aid Coordination
In order to ensure there is clear direction from the political leadership of the Parliament that reflects the interests of both the treasury and opposition benches, the project entailed the establishment of an Aid Coordination Committee.
2. Mid Term Review
As per the project document, a mid term review was foreseen at the end of the second year. As the project could operationalize almost six months late (due to delays in identification of National Project Director and of Committees to be supported), the Mid Term Review (MTR) also got delayed accordingly. However as the project time frame concludes in September 2013, the review would still be useful to appraise project’s progress, stakeholders’ feedback and reorientation if needed.
It is for this purpose, that a MTR Mission comprising an international expert on parliamentary development, who will come from IPU as per agreed framework, (the Mission Leader) and a national consultant with demonstrated expertise in governance, strategic management and democratic development, a representative from UNDP Headquarters (International Democracy and Governance) is proposed to be instituted.
3. Objectives of the Mid-Term Review
The Mid-Term Review (MTR) will assess the progress of the project against stated outputs as of June 2012, as well as identify issues and recommend course corrections. It will also highlight issues and challenges affecting efficient implementation of outputs and their contribution to project outcomes and impact. The Mission would also recommend whether results obtained thus far warrant a reorientation, expansion of the scope or an extension of the project period.
The review is being undertaken at almost the midpoint of project implementation and is expected to pave the way for improved project delivery for the remaining project duration and propose amendments (if any) required in project design, implementation arrangements and/or institutional linkages in order to effectively and sustainably contribute to the strengthening of democratic institutions through improved legislation and oversight.
4. The team for MTR
The Mission will consist of a three-member team of consultants, each with at least 10 - 12 years of experience related to democratic governance. As explained in Section 2, the three-membered team will consist of an international expert on parliamentary development, a representative from the UNDP Head Quarters with relevant experience and expertise, and a local consultant with demonstrated experience in and knowledge of Pakistan’s political structure, democratic institutions and legislative process.
The Local Consultant (LC) will:
i) Provide insight on the political culture and determinants of democratic progress, alongside identifying a range of stakeholders of parliamentary democracy in Pakistan
ii) In consultation with the Team Leader, prepare a working schedule of the Mission including focus group discussions (where necessary) and key informant interviews
iii) Identify federal and provincial officials / politicians / civil society representatives / media persons / parliamentarians / provincial assembly members etc to be interviewed
iv) Contact relevant persons / institutions to fix meetings
v) Prepare daily reports for group discussions and interviews for the team leader
vi) Prepare the presentation of the draft Aide Memoire, which the team will debrief to the stakeholders.
vii) Consolidate the information of daily reports, gathered through interviews and meetings, into a structure of MTR Report after due consultations with PMU and CO.
viii) Prepare the presentation containing key findings of the Mission, in consultation with the Team Leader (International Consultant) for the Debriefing Meeting at the end of the Mission
ix) Incorporate recommendations of the Debriefing in the Draft Report and send to the International Consultant (IC) for review and further input.
5. The Deliverables:
The Mission will complete and submit a draft final report in both hard and soft copy at the end of the mission. The Local Consultant (LC) will prepare the draft report in the light of comments/suggestions of stakeholders.
The key deliverables would be:
(a) Draft Report Template: Submission of a draft report format, in consultation with the International Consultant, containing Table of Contents for the final report for approval by UNDP CO / SDPD PMU.
(b) First draft of the report or Aide Memoir, to be discussed by MTR Mission team with UNDP CO / PMU
(c) A brief paper documenting changes (if any) to be made to the Project Document. This may be annexed to the MTR Report
(d) Draft Proposal / project document for the IC to give input, that covers the changes / additional scope that the MTR proposes, for the provincial interventions
(e) Presentation: For presenting and discussing the draft final report interactively. LC will facilitate a one-day concluding workshop for the project stakeholders
(f) MTR Draft Report for the IC to incorporate his/her input before submission to UNDP CO / PMU
The mission will adopt a consultative and participative approach. This may include visits to / meetings with the Committee Chairs / members; visits to the provincial assemblies; civil society partners, media and political experts, senior secretariat staff etc. For this, the LC will make a list, discuss with the Mission team and PMU, make contact with the people identified and organize meetings / interviews with them.
The list of interviewees may include the Project team, relevant government agencies / partners at federal, provincial and district level, if need be, the mission may also meet other agencies / projects engaged in similar interventions.
The MTR will start with a meeting at UNDP Country Office and conclude with a debriefing meeting with UNDP and other project partners. LC will finalize the dates and logistics in consultation with PMU.
7. Schedule of MTR
The evaluation will begin on September 10, 2012 and end on October 9, 2012. The Local Consultant will prepare MTR-Report in consultation with PMU & CO before submitting it to IC for further feedback and insight, latest by October 1, 2012. Comments on the draft report will be sent to the IC by October 3, 2012, after which the consultant will submit the final report no later than October 9, 2012.
By this token, total period for the LC would span over 30 days.