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Request for Proposals - Consultancy: Baseline Surveys for Parliament of Zimbabwe

Deadline: 17 September 2010 (Close of Business)

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1 Background

1.1 In order to establish a more responsive and effective Parliament capable of effectively executing its Representing and Oversight of the Executive branch of Government, Parliament, in October 1996, appointed the Parliament Reform Committee (PRC), to review the practice and procedure of the House in relation to public business. The PRC undertook extensive consultations with all sections of the population through public hearings and written evidence. The Committee also made a thorough stud of similar developments in systems of several parliaments to identify and borrow best practices.

1.2 In May 1999, the PRC recommended urgent reforms in the following areas:

  • The Legislative Process
  • Representation of the people
  • Executive oversight
  • Administrative Support Services

In order to implement the reforms, Parliament, in the first phase of implementation, set itself the following broad objectives:

i. Strengthening capacity of Members and staff of Parliament to assume greater policy formulation tasks.
ii. Use of the committee system to improve parliament's oversight function
iii. Raising the visibility and profile of the Legislature as a development policy formulation and implementation institution.
iv. Establishing Parliament Constituency Information Centres (PCICs) to serve as meeting places for MPs and their constituents and as centres for information dissemination.
v. Equipping staff with skills in the areas of Policy Research Support, Gender Management, Report Writing and Presentation and Project Management.

1.3 The major achievements of the first phase include the following:

  • The creation of a coordinated system of Portfolio committees with detailed terms of reference and covering every Government Ministry.
  • The establishment of over 100 House of Assembly Parliament Constituency Information Centres (PCICs) out of 120 constituents.
  • Capacity enhancement of MPs and officers of Parliament through induction and other training courses of a technical and generic nature.
  • The introduction of question Time without Notice.
  • The development of a re-engineered budget process.

The 2004-2007 Three Year and the current (2010-2012) Two Year Rolling Parliamentary Support Programme (PSP) built on the successes and challenges of the first phase. As observed in the end of term evaluation report of the 2004-2007 Three Year Rolling plan, there is need to establish several baselines on MPs in order to develop relevant capacity building programes and tools. Listed below are the proposed surveys.

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