EISA has a pilot programme that aimed at strengthening selected parliaments in Africa and encourage interaction between parliaments and civil society for improved participatory democracy. This programme was part of the larger Africa Democracy Strengthening Programme (funded by DFID) whose major goal is to contribute to the strengthening of democracy and governance on the continent. The Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar and Kenya were selected for the pilot phase of the project which ran from 2007-2008.
The legislative support programme covers the following areas:
Specific interventions are informed by fact-finding missions undertaken in each country and strategic plans of the respective parliaments.
EISA hosted the Policy Dialogue on democracy protection institutions in southern Africa on 14 July 2009.
Antananrivo, 1-2 September 2008: The Legislative Support programme held a two day workshop with national civil society organisations (CSOs) in Antananarivo on 1 and 2 September 2008 on the theme: Civil Society - Parliament Relations. 30 national CSO participants are expected to attend the workshop which will provide them with knowledge on how they can contribute to participatory democracy through interacting with their parliament. Participants will go through the following broad topics:
These topics also form the basis of the handbook for CSOs on Civil society - parliament relations developed by EISA.
Antananarivo, 5-6 November 2008: EISA's Legislative Support Programme held a parliamentarian's workshop in Antananarivo on 5 November 2008, as well as a dialogue between parliamentarians and civil society organisations on 6 November. The workshop focused on the core functions of a parliamentarian i.e. oversight, legislation and representation. A policy dialogue brought together the 30 parliamentarians attending the workshop and representatives of national CSOs with a view to putting in place mechanisms for improved Parliament civil society engagement.