Training Transparent and Accountable Governance

The Making of the Parliamentary Research and Training Centre in Sri Lanka
PRTC Sri Lanka

In a democracy, the quality of governance also depends on the qualifications of the political leadership. Much power lies with the legislative branch, the assembly of the people’s representatives. How to enhance their political education stands at the center of many debates in Sri Lanka.

This said, the establishment of a research and training center for members of parliament has been a long felt need in Sri Lanka. In 2015, the cabinet took action and set up the PRTC, the Parliamentary Research and Training Centre.

The primary objective of the PRTC is to provide necessary information and research material to the Members of Parliament, Members of Provincial Councils, and other political representatives including those of the local government level. To counter the danger of partisanship the Center would be neutral and uphold the democratic principles of integrity and pluralism. This will help the Center preserve its legitimacy and credibility while at the same time serve politicians from different parties and ideological affiliations.

Considering the vast experience of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) in the field of civic education and training, the Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya, invited the Foundation to assist in strategic discussions and the development of PRTC.  FNF Sri Lanka also gave a hand in identifying a reputed political scientist to share his advice and share his perspective on this important project.

“Experiences of other countries show that well-informed parliamentarians will alert the government to be more responsive to the democratic demands. And this is good for transparency and accountability” says Sagarica Delgoda, Head of the FNF Sri Lanka office highlighting the relevance of this program.