How the assessment process works

The Indicators for Democratic Parliaments are based on the principle of self-assessment. The parliament, or the organization carrying out the assessment, sets the objectives for the assessment exercise and designs the assessment process. 

The assessment guidance sets out the main steps in an assessment exercise. It contains questions for parliament to consider, as well as checklists. 

This guidance is only a starting point. Each exercise needs to be tailored to parliament’s objectives, which will naturally affect the time and effort required to carry out the assessment.

Parliament Parliament A national body of elected (or sometimes appointed) representatives that makes laws, debates issues and holds the government to account. can freely select which indicators it wishes to include in an assessment exercise. It may decide to focus on one or more indicators or to assess itself against all 25 indicators.

About an assessment

The process relies on assessment informed by evidence, which is the best protection against subjective and arbitrary judgements. Each assessment criterion contains suggestions on the type of evidence that parliament could gather for the assessment.

Selecting grades is an important part of the assessment exercise. Grades are useful for representing a consensus on parliament’s current capacity and practice, and for highlighting areas for improvement. Grades may also be a useful reference to look for signs of progress if parliament repeats the assessment exercise after a certain period of time.

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 IPU and partners stand ready to advise parliaments about using the Indicators and designing their own assessments, drawing on experience from previous exercises. To get in touch, please use the contact form or write to [email protected]

Download all indicators Download assessment guidance

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