As an active university-based development center, SUNY/CID adds to the intellectual discourse of development through its broad research agenda that addresses broader issues in development, democracy and governance. Our research addresses, legislative development, civil society, public management, local government, post-conflict reconstruction, rule of law and public participation.
- Our Governance Information Bulletin is an occasional email newsletter (posted online as a pdf) that draws attention to technical matters involved in strengthening political institutions and to broader issues of aid strategies, democracy assistance, public sector performance, and to countries and regions where SUNY/CID is working. Each entry provides a link to a larger piece of research.
- Our CAP Note (Comparative Assessment of Parliaments) series draws upon the expertise of our staff, our senior fellows, and our university resources, to generate new ideas, strategies, and lessons for integrated development.
- SUNY/CID’s Afghanistan Parliamentary Assistance Program regularly published the APAP Newsletter (posted online as a pdf) to provide updates on the project.
In addition, CID staff have authored important guides to the practice of development. These include USAID's Handbook on Legislative Strengthening, USAID's Guide for Using Administrative Law Tools to Strengthen USAID Programming, the South African Development Community Parliamentary Forum's MP Orientation Handbook, among others.
CID staff have also published in academic journals including Global Governance, International Affairs, Europe-Asia Studies, the Journal of Legislative Studies.
In this spirit, we have made available the original research and writing of our staff as well as other resources that practitioners, academics, and the public may find useful.
This paper is submitted in response to USAID Task Order AID-OAA-I-12-00005/AID-OAA-TO-15-000029, Technical Leadership in Legislative Strengthening, under the Strengthening Deliberative Bodies IQC. It provides research and analysis on selected themes of interest in the field of legislative strengthening. While the paper discusses four topics using comparative case studies to illustrate key issues arising under each topic, our analysis has been shaped and informed by SUNY/CID’s quarter century of legislative development work encompassing over 50 projects in 31 countries.
The following case studies in legislative strengthening differ considerably but are similar in some important respects. All are drawn from activities which sought to fulfil the promise that legislatures hold for democratic governance as representative and law making institutions where diverse societal concerns are articulated and conflicts resolved through negotiation and compromise, and corruption and incompetence are reduced through oversight. All of these programs sought to build the capacity of legislatures to fulfill their promise and relied upon Members of Parliament (MPs) for action once they were so enabled.
Posted April 2016
From 2000 to 2015 Kenya completed its’ move from a neo-patrimonial system controlled by a “big man” president, to one that is more competitive, and in which power is exercised through formal institutions including an independent, powerful and well supported parliament. This paper examines the role played by the USAID-DFID SUNY Parliamentary Support Program (PSP), in facilitating that transition.
Posted April 2016
The following bibliography is offered as a broad survey of the literature on legislative development and areas of legislative practice relevant to legislative development. While seeking to comprehensively highlight literature addressing the broad range of issues relevant to legislative strengthening, it is not intended to be either exhaustive nor to critique that literature.
In selecting articles and books, priority has been given to those readily accessible by the internet or that are commonly in circulation. The annotations are, whenever possible, drawn from the works in question with the goal of describing their content rather than offering a summary of results or a critical review of content.
Posted May 2014
In Fall 2012, SUNY Center for International Development published a retrospective marking its 25th year working around the world.
The Constituency Relations Manual provides a simple overview of the many ways in which a member of the Afghanistan National Assembly can engage with their constituents. Suggests range from meetings with local representatives and civil society organizations and the use of public and social media through parliamentary activities such as the use of public hearings.
Posted September 2012
The Legislative Process Manual provides a comprehensive, easily understood overview of how a legislative idea becomes law. Government proposed bills are traced from their drafting by the Ministry of Justice or other ministries, their approval by the Council of Ministries, their submission, handling and passage in each house of the parliament (Wolesi Jirga and Meshrano Jirga), their endorsement by the president and publication in the Official Gazette. The manual discusses how conflicts between the two houses are resolved and the differences between the two houses in how proposed bills are handled. Finally, the manual discusses unique features of the budget bill and how member proposed bills are handled.
Posted August 2012
This book offers a comprehensive overview of the national budget and national budgetary processes in Afghanistan. Starting with basic questions about the budget (what is the national budget); why should the National Assembly have an important role in the budget process?; Who are the key players in the budget process?), the book proceeds to situate the budget within the government and how it forms the budget and the legal and constitutional framework in which the budget if formed. The book then reviews the role of the National assembly in the drafting and enactment of the budget bill, describes the institutions within the National Assembly charged with budgetary engagement, and describes the National Assembly’s role in budget oversight. Finally, the book highlights and discusses the intersection of the budgetary process and key cross-cutting issues of: poverty reduction; fighting corruption; and gender.
Posted August 2012
Glossary of Political, Legislative and Legal Terms (English-Arabic)
SUNY/CID-USAID, Dec. 2010
An English-Arabic glossary of approximately 800 political, legislative and legal terms relevant to a parliamentary practice. The glossary would be useful to translators, researchers or other staff. Posted April 2012
Dictionary of Legislative Terms (English-Arabic)
An English-Arabic dictionary of over 300 terms relevant to parliamentary/legislative practice throughout the world. The book would be particularly useful to understanding comparative practices between the various types of parliaments (presidential/Westminster/etc) and in support of legislative strengthening efforts drawing on non-Arabic models. Posted April 2012
Fact Book on Arab Parliaments (English-Arabic)
SUNY/CID -USAID, 2012
The Fact Book on Arab Parliaments provides an overview of 13 houses of parliament from 10 Arab countries (Algeria, Djibouti, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Sudan, and Yemen). The fact book is based on the responses to a survey submitted to all Arab parliaments and supplemented by original research. It includes: demographic information on the country and house; a general description of the role of the legislature and legislative process; the system of representation; political parties; committees and their functions; oversight functions undertaken; public access to information; and the range of parliamentary support services provided. Posted April 2012
Fact Book on Arab Parliamentary Libraries (English-Arabic)
The Fact Book on Arab Parliamentary Libraries provides an overview of 14 libraries of parliament from 13 Arab countries (Algeria, Bahrain Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Sudan, Tunisia, and Yemen). Based on a survey submitted to all Arab parliamentary libraries during the process of forming the Arab Parliamentary Library Network and supplemented by additional research, the fact book covers such areas as: library services provided; holdings automated/electronic services available; publications; staff; and other information. Posted April 2012
SUNY/CID and Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
This booklet (pdf) recommends key principles for the operations of Constituency Development Funds in Commonwealth jurisdictions. It was published in conjunction with a 2011 workshop that explored the operations of these funds by asking about: the efficiency of service delivery in constituencies, the extent to which such policymaking contributes to effective administration, and the best ways to enhance the accountability and transparency of policy making on such funds. Related story. Posted Feb. 24, 2012
Resource Guide to Arab Parliaments (English-Arabic)
The Resource Guide to Arab Parliaments offers a broad overview of resources for research and study of Arab Parliaments, blending the characteristics of a research guide and an annotated bibliography. Resources include published reference works, articles, books and internet resources. Posted November 2011
Workshop summary by Dr. Mark Baskin
SUNY Center for International Development
This paper summarizes the June 7-9, 2011 workshop held in Kingston, Jamaica. SUNY/CID provided the expert consultant services to a workshop on Constituency Development Funds (CDFs) organized by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA). SUNY/CID also held a pre workshop roundtable with its academic consultants. The workshop, co-hosted by the Parliament of Jamaica, represents a significant step to frame an increasingly popular policy tool in norms of good governance with the adoption of "Principles and Guidelines for Constituency Development Funds". Posted June 23, 2011