ISLAMABAD – The Secretary Senate, Amjed Pervez Malik, highlighted the need for various wings of the parliament’s secretariats to work in unison to support Members of Parliament (MPs) in making well informed decisions.
He said the parliamentary committees are working practically without any research support and to improve the flow of accurate information from the secretariats, the library, IT and research wings need to pool their resources to provide meaningful assistance to MPs. He was speaking at the inaugural session of a capacity building programme for the parliamentary research officers, titled, ‘International Best Practices in Parliamentary Research’, held at Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services (PIPS) today.
The series of once a month knowledge sharing workshops for research officers of National Assembly, Senate and PIPS is being run by PIPS in partnership with a European Union-funded project, Improving Parliamentary Performance in Pakistan (IP3).
The explicit purpose of these sessions is to strengthen the existing skills, knowledge and capacity of research officers in the parliament so that they are able to provide high quality research support to members and committees of the parliament, said the facilitator, Dr. Nazya Fiaz, an international expert at research and capacity building, working for IP3. ‘Parliamentary research is the backbone of well informed decision making and oversight and members rely a great deal on the information and analysis provided by research officers to help them perform their oversight of the executive, and make sound policy decisions,’ she said.
The Executive Director of PIPS, Khan Ahmed Goraya, welcomed the IP3 support to the institute in providing services to the parliament. ‘Professional research support can play a pivotal role in empowering MPs with knowledge and analysis. Parliamentary researchers act like a bridge between studies undertaken by the academia and policymakers who define the plans and priorities of the state. I’m sure such initiative will go a long way in establishing a strong research base at the parliament,’ he said.
Emphasising the point he said research and analysis is an elaborate component of all developing democracies of the world and in Pakistan, the parliamentary leadership envisions PIPS as a centre of excellence that would offer technical support not only to Pakistani MPs but also to members of regional parliaments.
IP3 Team Leader, Anitra Jankevica, said that the training is a joint effort of the Senate, National Assembly, PIPS and IP3, and the programme content has been designed through a consultative process, with inputs from all stakeholders. She appreciated PIPS and the parliament for the support provided.