Launch of South African Parliamentary Institute
The South African Parliamentary Institute will officially be launched on 9 December, at 18:00, at the Members’ Restaurant, National Assembly Building.
The Institute for South African Legislatures is a project of the South African Legislative Sector (SALS) under the stewardship of the Speakers’ Forum. The Institute is intended to enhance the functioning of the legislatures through development and implementation of capacity development programmes, production of quality research, and knowledge management for members and officials and establishment of the alumni association of former members and officials of the Legislative Sector. SALS identified the need for a sector parliamentary institute in the Fourth Parliament as one of the recommendations of the development of a sector common oversight framework called the Sector Oversight Model (SOM). The legislative sector lacked a dedicated Institute to identify needs, design and deliver programmes, conduct research and provide access to relevant information, unlike the executive, which has a dedicated institution to capacitate staff, ie the National School of Government (NSG). Subsequently, the Speakers’ Forum approved the establishment of the Institute in the Fifth Parliament with an establishment process approved in the Sixth Parliament. The establishment process builds on the approvals to date to work out the details related to the establishment of the Institute from concept to implementation.
The roles and functions of the institute are as follows:
- Design and develop and implement Capacity Building Programmes for employees and Members;
- Conduct quality research and provide up-to-date information to members of Legislatures, committees;
- Provide advice and technical assistance to committees and office bearers in the legislative and policy related matters; and
- Establish and host alumni association of Sector (former MPs/MPLs and Officials)
The Parliamentary Institute of South Africa will be governed by a board of 11 members that will accountable to the Speakers’ Forum. Board members will serve for a period of a parliamentary term. Their appointment will be made with due regard for representation of gender, youth, minority groups as well as multi-party consideration. The Legislative Sector Support (LSS) will provide management, administration and secretariat support to the Board.
The board’s first task in 2022 will be the development of a strategy for the institute with an operational plan that will be operationalized focusing on the following.
1. Capacity Development
- Curriculum development
- Implementation of capacity building programmes (a schedule in existence already)
- Learner material development & publishing
- Convert courses & material suitable for online learning (live / recorded)
- Build trainer & support capacity
2. Research and Knowledge Management
Develop research agenda for the Sector and provide up to date information and technical advice members and committees
3. Establishment of the alumni
Develop a database of service providers mainly drawn from former and current members and officials to deliver induction programmes, workshops on parliamentary practice, procedures and systems as the first step in the development of the alumni for the legislative sector.