National Assembly steps-up efforts to harness Constituency offices to serve as research satellites

First Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Honourable Malungo Chisangano (MP), has hailed the expansion of Research Fair by including the objective of decentralizing and escalating data collection on the thematic areas covered by Parliamentary Caucuses to and from constituencies.

Speaking during the official opening of the Research Fair at Parliament Buildings on 22nd November 2023, Ms. Chisangano said that she was happy to note that the objectives of the 2023 Research Fair are in line with the National Assembly of Zambia’s Strategic Plan 2022 to 2026 particularly Strategic Objective 1.3, considers Constituency offices as platforms for enhancing the representative role of Parliament.

The Deputy Speaker said that the 2022 Research Awareness Week was a success due to the recorded increase in the demand for research services, particularly through information requests from Members of Parliament.

She urged Members of Parliament to keep up with the momentum and ensure that Parliamentary work, including debates and questions, continue to show that it is evidence based.

Ms. Chisangano however, lamented that despite having so much potential, Constituency Offices were being underutilized in many aspects.

“I am happy that the Research Department has again managed to organize this important event, with Constituency Offices at the centre of it. You will recall that in the recent past, Presiding Officers have undertaken visits to almost all the Constituency Offices. One of the things we noted was that Constituency Offices have so much potential, yet under-utlised in many aspects. As such, to use them as Research Satellites is very welcome.” The Deputy Speaker said.

Ms. Chisangano thanked the Inter- Parliamentary Union (IPU), Oxfam and the Civil Society for Poverty Reduction for the technical and financial support rendered towards the hosting of the event.

And Oxfam Southern Africa in Zambia has commended the National Assembly of Zambia for holding the Research Fair stating that the Fair underscored the imperative to bridge the gap between research and governance, particularly at the Constituency level.

Annie Sikanwe, who represented Oxfam at the event said that it was important that the National Assembly harness the potential of constituency offices to serve as research satellites.

“The theme, Leveraging Constituency Offices as Research Satellites for enhanced data collection encapsulates the notion that our constituency offices transcend mere administrative centres. They possess the potential to function as dynamic hubs for data collection, facilitating evidenced-based decision making rooted in the realities and nuances of the communities we serve,” Sikanwe said.   

Other speakers at the event also included Mr. Martin Chungong, Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), United Nations Resident Coordinator Ms. Beatrice Mutali and Ms. Faides Tambatamba, Executive Director for the Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR).

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