Parliamentary Strengthening to Improve Accountability and Responsiveness in Pakistan
This report summarises findings from a rapid review of the literature on parliamentary strengthening and evidence on the effectiveness of different types of programme interventions. The report draws on findings from diverse contexts but includes a specific focus on the case of Pakistan. Section 2 begins with a short summary of relevant initiatives led by international agencies in Pakistan. Section 3 provides an overview of legislative assessments and monitoring initiatives. Section 4 examines programmes related to supporting political parties. Section 5 looks at initiatives seeking to build capacities in budgeting and budget transparency. Section 6 explores programmes related to improving inclusion and representativeness in parliamentary processes and in participatory decision-making. Challenges to measuring the impacts of these programmes include “the lack of exogenous variation in institutions, the difficulty of measuring institutional performance and the temptation to ‘cherry pick’ estimates from among the large number of indicators required to capture this multifaceted subject” (Casey et al., 2012, p.1755). Despite this gap in evidence, a number of cross-country studies have examined the experiences of various programmes, largely drawing on observational data, and a range of common recommendations can be observed from these studies.