The COVID19 pandemic has brought about fundamental changes in the way parliaments operate and the challenges they must confront. Adaptability in the face of adversity is a core component of any institution's strength, as legislatures around the world have had to make unprecedented changes to continue fulfilling their mandate to legislate, represent, and conduct oversight. Together with the National Democratic Institute and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, we have produced two reports reflecting on the challenges parliaments have faced over the past year and a half, bringing together important tools and case studies to assist legislatures in adapting to future crises.
The first report, Parliaments Responding to a Pandemic: Lessons Learned for Emergency Planning, is an overview of the ways parliaments have responded to the pandemic and offers mechanisms for institutionalizing these lessons for the future. The second report, Parliament’s Role in Emergency Fiscal Policy: Lessons Learned for Emergency Planning, takes a special look at the economic and relief measures parliaments undertook during the pandemic. It offers guidance on ensuring effective oversight of relief money, avenues for parliamentary engagement in the budget process, and highlights the importance of relief targeted for vulnerable groups in the economy such as women and informal workers.
We believe these reports will be very useful for parliamentarians and staff as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for future crises that may disrupt the work of parliament. Thank you to all who contributed to these important products.