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July 23, 2019
SSHRC-Funded Research Project Will Identify Effective Oversight Practices in Small Jurisdictions

Can small provinces and states have legislative oversight systems that are as effective as those of their larger counterparts?

While we recognize that some practices exercised by larger jurisdictions cannot work in small jurisdictions, we believe that effective oversight practices can be implemented in small provinces and states. However, much of the current oversight research focuses on larger countries and there is a lack of research and information on legislative oversight in small jurisdictions.

To address this lack of research, and to strengthen oversight in small jurisdictions, we are pleased to announce CAAF’s participation in a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) funded research partnership led by McGill University’s Dr. Frederick Stapenhurst from the School of Continuing Studies. The project, Promoting Good Governance Through Enhanced Parliamentary Oversight: Middle Eastern and North African Countries and Small States, will be funded for a 3-year period.

Our partner organizations for this project will include McGill University, Université Laval, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD), the African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs, the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA).

Collaboration with academics, practitioners, and international parliamentary organizations will allow us to identify unique practices and processes that can improve oversight in small jurisdictions. We will learn from the effective (and ineffective) practices currently being followed to develop suggested good practices. To share these findings, we will create user-friendly guides and materials.

Specifically, we will use the research findings to support small jurisdictions, including Canadian territories and provinces will smaller populations. For their part, our partner organizations will use the findings to support parliamentary strengthening projects in small jurisdictions throughout the world, as well as in Middle East and North African states.

We are excited to embark on the Foundation’s first-ever oversight research project of this magnitude with such a distinguished team of academics, practitioners and representatives of international parliamentary organizations.

We would like to thank the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for making this important research possible. If you would like more information on this research project, or are interested in getting involved, please contact Dr. Lesley Burns at: lburns@caaf-fcar.ca.