NDI’s Democratic Governance programs support legislative institutions to effectively uphold their representative and oversight responsibilities. Through programs that connect global legislative peers and networks, and through trainings and consultations grounded in democratic benchmarks for parliamentary progress and capacity, Democratic Governance programs work to improve the performance of MPs to engage effectively with constituents, develop informed and inclusive policies, and strengthen the capacity of professional, expert staff. NDI’s Democratic Governance programs also work with parliaments to maintain effective oversight of the executive and improve accountability and transparency measures, such as through the development of ethics legal frameworks and mechanisms for effective legislative-executive relations.
House Democracy Partnership:
The House Democracy Partnership (HDP) is a bipartisan commission of the U.S. House of Representatives that engages parliamentary peers from across the globe to enhance the development of effective, independent legislative institutions. Through congressionally-directed funding to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), NDI and the International Republic Institute (IRI) jointly implement HDP in collaboration with their partners in the U.S. Congress.
NDI and IRI organize periodic peer-to-peer engagements that bring together U.S. members of Congress and staff with their global parliamentary peers in more than 22 countries. Exchanges, held either in-person or virtually, center on a broad range of legislative development topics, including budgeting, oversight, ethics, constituent relations, committee functions, and library and research services. Exchanges provide legislators and staff with the opportunity to observe the U.S. legislative system, and access technical expertise from around the world on shared challenges. NDI and IRI also work with a global network of parliamentary organizations and experts to develop knowledge resources for use by legislators, including on: new member orientations, lessons from COVID-19 parliamentary adaptations, economic recovery tools in a crisis, conducting effective oversight, combatting disinformation, and advancing cybersecurity.
Current HDP partners include the parliaments of Afghanistan, Armenia, Burma/Myanmar, Colombia, Georgia, Guatemala, Haiti, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, North Macedonia, Nepal, Mongolia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, The Gambia, Timor-Leste, Tunisia, and Ukraine. NDI also engages with the parliaments of Nepal and The Gambia.
Parliaments and Public Debt Management:
As the national institution most closely linked to constituent demands, legislatures have a vital role to play in public debt deliberation and oversight. In most countries, however, parliaments have found themselves sidelined during loan approval processes. This challenge became particularly acute during the COVID-19 crisis, which included the mobilization of unprecedented levels of lending as well as a sharp increase in the number of countries facing ‘debt distress.’ In response to these challenges, NDI is working with parliaments across regions to support debt sustainability and transparency through democratic deliberation and effective scrutiny that holds governments to account for implementation of debt-financed projects and sound management of their repayment.
Institute for Representative Government:
Created in 1988 by former members of the U.S. Congress, the Institute for Representative Government (IRG) is a nonprofit, bipartisan, educational institution with the mission to provide legislatures from developing democracies exposure to the U.S. political system. With funding from the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and in partnership with IRI, NDI organizes annual programming to connect parliamentarians from around the world with U.S. peers and government officials on issues such as strengthening electoral integrity, advancing policies that promote human rights and freedoms, and countering violent extremism.