The Africa i-Parliament Action Plan (Jul 2008-Dec 2012) is coming to an end, hence an External Evaluation was carried out to assess the different activities of the Project. Two evaluation reports (“Bungeni & Akoma Ntoso” and “APKN”) were presented during the “Project Evaluation: Stakeholder Validation Workshop", organized in Nairobi, Kenya, on 20 November 2012.
The workshop brought together beneficiaries, implementing partners and donor with a view to engaging in a tripartite manner to review the findings of the evaluation and contribute to the finalisation of the report. The overall purpose of the evaluation was to assess the extent to which the Project succeeded in terms of relevance, and sustainability of its outputs, as well as to provide strategic and operational recommendations to ensure sustainability and effectiveness of future interventions.
The workshop was attended by fifteen representatives of the stakeholders involved in the Project: the national parliaments of Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia, the Nigerian National Institute for Legislative Studies, SADC Parliamentary Forum, ECOWAS Parliament, the Italian Development Cooperation Office of Nairobi, the Chief, the Public Administration Capacity Branch of UNDESA New York, as well as selected members of the Africa i-Parliament team.
The Africa Parliamentary Knowledge Network (APKN), despite the challenges faced in growing up, is the way forward to provide high quality sustainable capacity building activities to all parliaments in Africa. The Project did full-heartedly promote APKN, now steered by a powerful Executive of 5 Regional and 5 National parliaments, which should be able to support its growth into a knowledge tool by and for African parliaments. Akoma Ntoso is about to become an international XML standard with the support of OASIS, thus achieving recognition of its worth at the world level. Bungeni Parliamentary Information System proved to be more challenging than foreseen but is now a mature and solid system that can be used not just by parliaments but also by other parliamentary-like organizations, such as regional parliaments, municipalities etc., as well as parliamentary monitoring organisation, with great benefit for Bungeni sustainability and future development.
The establishment of the APKN and the development of Bungeni and Akoma Ntoso into feature-rich, mature and solid products, currently already in the process of being deployed in some parliaments, were unanimously regarded as the main achievements of the Project by all the participants. Such outcomes of the Project's activities were commended for their contribution to the enhancement of inter-parliamentary cooperation and the promotion of open source software and open standards, deemed to be key factors to support African parliaments in their strive to become open, participatory, knowledge-based learning organisations.
Recommendations coming out of both the evaluations and the validation workshop reflect the challenges and lessons learnt in the implementation phase. Stakeholders requested to keep up the good work and to plan for a Phase II, to be focused on consolidating ownership by African parliaments whilst also ensuring sustainability of the APKN, Bungeni and Akoma Ntoso. Detailed reports of the findings will be shortly available for download.
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA)
an initative of United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA)