Strengthening Oversight Capacity within African Legislatures


Legislatures with their workforce of democratically elected members represent one of the central pillars of democratic process; they play a crucial role in driving and sustaining equitable development within African democratic states. CLEAR-AA’s Parliamentary programme supports this important process through;

  • Building the capacity of parliamentarians to use M&E as part of oversight,
  • Strengthening legislatures’ capacity to monitor their own performance,
  • Developing and sharing best practice on M&E capacity building work within legislatures in the region.

Recognising that improved M&E technical capacity amongst parliamentarians is a key to effective oversight, the programme focuses capacity building with parliamentarians, content advisors and researchers to prioritise, select, interpret and make sound judgement using M&E data that is made available to them.

The programme has focused initially during 2015 on legislatures within South Africa, at both National and Provincial levels, and in 2016/17 plans to expand to work with National Legislatures within the African region.

Technical capacity building

The CLEAR centre has developed and piloted a curriculum that is designed to provide legislators and their support staff, with a basic grounding in Results Based Development and Monitoring and Evaluation systems. Armed with this basic knowledge, we anticipate that legislators will be better placed to interrogate and use M&E data that is at their disposal.

Members of Select Committee support teams taking part in a CLEAR AA workshop in Northern Cape

Support to networks of parliamentarians for development evaluation

Networks of Parliamentarians that support development evaluation are crucial in driving the agenda for greater use of evaluation as a source of evidence for oversight. CLEAR-AA provides support to these networks through;

  • hosting network events
  • contributing to the expanding membership of networks

    Legislators from the National Assembly, Western Cape, and KwaZulu Natal engaged in group-work as part of the Monitoring and Evaluation Module of the Certificate in Leadership and Governance.

  • participating in forum conversations and discussions
  • attending and observing network events
  • using the network to generate & share knowledge products

Oversight knowledge products

Through ongoing engagement with the parliamentary sector in Africa, and learning generated through our training programmes, the programme aims to generate a series of knowledge products and tools that are accessible to parliamentarians continent wide. CLEAR-AA also supports various seminars across the continent that highlight the latest thinking in the evaluation sector.

Diagnostics and research

Diagnostic studies are an important research tool that help build a picture of the varying contexts in which African parliamentarians work. As well as facing challenges relating to resources and technical capacity, the range of political contexts across Africa also shape how evaluation is used within a democratic, multi-party oversight process. Through its research work, CLEAR-AA aims to better understand this environment in order to provide parliamentarians with appropriate support in their oversight work.

Hon. Masizole Mnqasela, Shadow Minister of Home Affairs taking part in a CLEAR AA training course for Legislators in Cape Town.

If you would like more information regarding CLEAR-AA’s Parliamentary Support Programme please contact;

Kieron Crawley:
Ezethu Mandlelize: