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African Parliamentary Oversight Tool (African POT)

The African POT is a technological innovation to improve the flow of Legislative Oversight in Parliaments and strengthen evidence systems used by policy makers. It is an initiative championed by parliamentary representatives from Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Pan African Parliament (PAP). This initiative is supported by CLEAR-AA and Twende Mbele.

The approach to strengthening evidence systems explores digitizing committee oversight and legislative activities. It includes the creation of links between the suppliers of evidence (research department, parliamentary budget office, government departments, universities, research think tanks and CSOs) and evidence users (parliamentarians and policy makers).

Progress timeline

December 2017 - Inception workshop (Johannesburg)

December 2018 - Concept design (Virtually)

June 2019 - Piloting concept workshop (Nairobi)

October 2019 - Pilot planning process (Virtually)

Parliamentary staff will find value in how the tool integrates oversight and legislative activities with the organisational business flow. The tool will link the evidence generation work in technical units and committees to:

Internal communication facilities i.e. emails and intranet

Data repositories i.e. research and library

Storage and archival i.e. ICT and library

Parliamentarians will find value in how the tool presents evidence from different sources in an integrated interface. By making evidence readily accessible, MPs will be in a better position to make evidence-based decisions in oversight and legislation.

"Technology provides opportunities for data generation, analysis, synthesis and dissemination that could remove some of the bottle necks that obstruct evidence channeling and use" (Workshop report, 2019)

Parliaments' management and administrations will find value in how the tool generates comprehensive data across the spectrum of parliamentary units to enhance organisational performance and M&E.

"The African POT will be shared at this year’s African Parliamentarians' Network on Development Evaluation (APNODE) Annual General Meeting in Abidjan. When finalised, the APNODE executive will showcase it to each country chapter." (Hon. Evelyn Mpagi-Kabuule, APNODE vice-chairperson)

Perspectives from parliamentary representatives on the African Parliamentary Oversight Tool