About the Indicators

The Indicators for Democratic Parliaments are a comprehensive self-assessment tool designed to help parliaments evaluate their capacity and practice against established democratic standards. They are suitable for all parliaments, regardless of their political system or stage of development.

Founded on commonly accepted traits of strong institutions, the Indicators were developed by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in partnership with leading organizations from the parliamentary community, and with input from more than 100 people in 50 parliaments. 

In total, there are 25 indicators. They are grouped into seven targets that correspond to the adjectives used in Targets 16.6 and 16.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): effective, accountable, transparent, responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative. Each indicator is broken down into several dimensions, each of which sets out an aspiring goal for parliament to work towards, along with one or more assessment criteria. The assessment is informed by evidence and generates recommendations for improvement.


The indicators are based on the principle of self-assessment. Self-assessment is a voluntary process that ensures that parliament takes ownership of the outcomes and recommendations.

The Indicators offer a great degree of flexibility: parliament can appraise its capacity and practice against all of the indicators, or instead select a specific subset. Each indicator is designed as a standalone package.

The assessment exercise is intended to generate recommendations for change. By examining the current state of capacity and practice, participants in the assessment exercise will identify strengths, weaknesses and areas for improvement.

The Indicators are accompanied by detailed assessment guidance explaining how to use them. Parliaments that may have additional questions or require further assistance are encouraged to contact the IPU and project partners at [email protected].

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