Parliaments & MDGs : Economic Development and Pro-Poor Policies

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Capable and vibrant parliaments are essential to countries’ development processes because they are important institutions in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and economic development aims. Parliamentary development directly supports the achievement of the MDGs because MPs represent the very constituents who are supposed to benefit from them while at the same time being responsible for passing the laws that institutionalize the changes required to meet the MDGs. MPs should represent, understand and reflect the interests of all their constituents and communities so that development is more equitable and effective. Indeed an active parliament’s role in poverty-reduction planning fosters a more comprehensive societal participation in economic development.    


Programmes that develop the parliament’s role in poverty reduction planning can then promote more comprehensive societal participation in economic development.  Parliamentary actors can target particular development areas that require legal reform or more state funding and work with both government and parliamentarians to develop political will to enact legislation or adjust state budgets. Parliamentarians can contribute to national poverty reduction efforts by investigating and highlighting the results of anti-poverty initiatives, engaging in the creation of new anti-poverty initiatives, and providing oversight into the implementation and budgetary matters of programs.

Improving MDGs awareness of MPs can also assist strengthening the role of parliaments regarding the MDGs. This effort could include analysis and discussion of how other parliaments have promoted the MDGs and international and regional standards for legislation. Similarly, knowledge on the MDGs could also be offered to committee staff so they know what to do if/when MPs asks for such information. Establishing informational links between the committees and the relevant ministries working on development issues is also an efficient method to foster the MDGs.
Additionally, Parliaments in wealthy countries have a responsibility to ensure implementation of the quantity and quality of aid that is provided to other countries so as to assist them with their development and poverty reduction plans. Such aid must ensure a role for parliaments in the other countries to reflect the need for domestic accountability for such aid.  





End Poverty

  European Development Days 2008