Cape Town, South Africa – As part of its “Strengthening SADC Parliamentary Engagement in the Budget Cycle” programme, AWEPA conducted data collection in the Parliament of Namibia during the months of March and April 2016.
The aim of the data collection – which took place through a series of interviews, surveys, legislative and budget document retrieval – was to aid in the evaluation of the Namibian Parliament’s engagement in the budget process.
Several themes were researched intensively, including the Parliament’s access to information; the formal and informal powers exercised within the legislature; committee and staff capacity; availability of time and resources; and the mechanics that drive the budget process from the formulation phase right through to the executive audit.
Through discussions with Members of Parliament and members of staff, it became clear that there exists a strong drive from many quarters to improve parliamentary engagement in the budget process, highlighting the importance of parliaments and their oversight function.
A critical analysis of the data collected, which is currently underway, will culminate in a comprehensive country report, which aims to sensitise the parliamentarians to their distinctive engagement in the budget process, and how their own insights might translate into priority actions towards improved engagement.
AWEPA will build on these preliminary findings through continued dialogue, and specifically during a focus group workshop in Namibia later this year, which will involve MPs, members of staff and experts in the field.