Strengthening legislatures: Some lessons from the pacific region

Abel Kinyondo, Riccardo Pelizzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


There is universal agreement among development stakeholders that parliaments play a crucial role in enhancing good governance, economic growth, and development as well as the general quality of democracy. It follows from this fact that several international organizations (IOs) have embarked in activities that seek to strengthen legislative capacity. However, we note that there is a lack of consensus-among IOs and in key literature-on the right approach to strengthen parliaments. Consequently, IOs have been offering varying legislative-strengthening exercises that have inevitably produced significantly different and, at times, disappointing outcomes. Using a multicase study design that includes five Pacific countries, we show that to attain positive and significant outcomes, legislative capacity-building initiatives need to be country specific and informed by local needs assessment. We further reassert that no amount of legislative capacity-building effort can enhance parliamentary performance in the absence of local political will.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-446
Number of pages27
JournalPolitics and Policy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2013


  • Asia-pacific
  • Comparative politics
  • Governance and democracy
  • Legislative capacity-building initiatives
  • Legislative strengthening
  • Legislative training needs assessment
  • Marshall islands
  • Papua new guinea
  • Timor-leste
  • Tonga
  • Vanuatu

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

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