Parliaments have two separate roles in aid coordination. At an institutional level, parliaments must play an active role in ensuring those outside organizations that provide support to the institution are well coordinated in their work. At the national level, parliaments must be engaged in oversight of how donor funds are expended if there is to be domestic accountability for the funds. For information on this second aspect, please visit the AGORA pages on Aid Effectiveness.
Aid Coordination within the Parliament
Where there is more than one project in support of a specific parliament or more than one development agency providing support to the same parliament, a common challenge is the coordination of the projects. In a best-case scenario, where agencies, implementers and the parliament meet regularly, partnerships develop to ensure cost-effective delivery of activities and outputs. In a worst case scenario, parliamentary leaders succumb to “donor fatigue” – where key national actors lose interest in reform or are disenchanted with all outside actors because they are constantly being consulted and asked to participate in various activities.
From past experience best practices have developed as to how to promote and ensure aid coordination. On a regular basis (i.e. – biweekly or monthly) informal meetings between implementers can take place to discuss ongoing challenges and planned activities in the coming months. More formal meetings involving donors and development agencies can be held quarterly to encourage collaboration and to discuss broader development issues related to the parliament. Annually, all projects should share their work plans to identify potential opportunities for partnership and cooperation and identify potential timing issues.
A further best practice is to establish an international relations office or project management office within a parliament. This will allow the parliament to provide a focal point for the coordination of all activities with the parliament. It would be optimal if the parliament takes the lead in coordinating all the projects.