National Assembly Holds Master Class for Constituency Officers

The National Assembly of Zambia on November 21st held a Master Class at Parliament Buildings for selected Constituency Officers under the theme “Leveraging Constituency Offices as Research Satellites for Enhanced Data collection”.

The Master Class for Constituency Officers which preceded the Research Fair and the Members’ Symposium, was aimed at contextualizing the 2023 Research as well as allowing for interaction between constituency staff, selected partners and departments at the National Assembly.

Speaking during the official opening of the workshop, Deputy Clerk-Procedure, Mrs. Cecilia Sikatele Mambwe, said that there was need to strengthen the capacity of Constituency Assistants in providing information to Members of Parliament for their legislative oversight, budget approval, and representative functions.

Mrs. Mambwe highlighted the link between the Master Class and the Research Fair, saying that the theme "Using Constituency Offices as Research Satellites for Better Data Collection," stresses the vital role these offices play in sharing essential information.

 She said that there is increased importance of Constituency Offices, especially with more funds being allocated to the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and that it was crucial that the Constituency Officers are well-prepared for this role as they interface with the community.

The master class covered various topics ranging from the functions of National Assembly departments to keeping an eye on CDF usage and collecting local information on environment and climate change.

Mrs. Mambwe was optimistic that there would be positive outcomes from the Master Class adding that improving the skills of the Constituency Assistants will help Members of Parliament use evidence more effectively thereby making parliamentary functions more efficient.

She also expressed gratitude, to cooperating partners, with special mention to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR), in facilitating the realization of the Master Class and Research Fair.

And speaking earlier Acting Principal Clerk for Research, Ms. Elsie Simpamba thanked the Constituency Office staff who had travelled from across the country to participate in the Research Fair.

She said that the Fair was the second in succession, following the inaugural Research Awareness Week that was held in September, 2022.

She also thanked management for the continued support rendered to the department, not only regarding the Research Fair, but also in the execution of other tasks by the Department.

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