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Professional Development Certificate in Parliamentary Management

AGORA moderator's picture
Parliaments are a critical component of a country’s governance system. Typically, they oversee the executive arm of the Government, they represent the electorate and they formulate policies/enact legislation; they also serve as a ‘training ground’ for government leaders. Assistance to parliaments has historically included activities intended to improve the skills of Members of Parliament and to build the physical infrastructure of parliament, including the expansion of library and research facilities and IT. Important as these elements are, it is also recognized that the effectiveness of parliaments also depends on there being a well0trained, professional cadre of parliamentary staff.
 
Facing this challenge, the development of staff training programs geared has expanded dramatically over the past decade. However, most the early attempts to train staff were criticized for lacking coherence, with donor and practitioner organizations alike offering duplicate and overlapping courses, with a commensurate misallocation of scarce resources.
 
To overcome this problem, the World Bank Institute (WBI) developed a new approach, emphasizing collaboration and co-operation between donors and practitioners. Working initially with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, ASGPF and the Parliamentary Centre, WBI launched an Executive Training Program for mid-level Parliamentary staff, which is hosted by McGill University, in Canada. This advanced level, university-certified program is designed to be used by any and all parliamentary organizations as a cornerstone of their own training programs, thereby reducing overlap and duplication. Similarly, parliaments themselves can send their staff to this program, again freeing up their own resources to focus on the particular needs of their own staff.  More recent collaborating organizations include the SUNY-CID and the Centre for Democratic Institutions; other organizations are welcome to join. 
 
This professional development certificate program is designed for mid-level parliamentary staff who have the potential to reach the highest levels of parliamentary management. The goal of this program is to advance parliamentary democracy by enhancing knowledge and understanding of democratic governance. The curriculum is based on international best practices and uses blended learning methods, including one-on-one mentoring, face-to-face networking, and online courses. By equipping parliamentary staff to become the ‘corporate memory’ of parliament, the program helps build the legislatures of tomorrow. This program is offered in English and must be completed within 2 years.
 
For more information, visit the website (http://www.mcgill.ca/continuingstudies/programs-and-courses/leadership/c...) or contact Rick Stapenhurst at frederick.stapenhurst@mcgill.ca