The Outreach Programs of Parliament

The Parliament of Namibia as part of its mandate of enhancing public understanding of the parliamentary process and increasing public participation in the law-making process designed two types of outreach programs to achieve its objectives:

a) “Taking Parliament to the People”

This program is conducted by Presiding Officers and MPs assisted by the staff. The program is aimed at bridging the gap between Parliamentarians and the public as well as getting MPs to familiarise themselves with development taking place in the country.
It consists of three sub-programs:

  1. The Speaker’s/Chairperson’s (Presiding Officers) Outreach Program, “Consulting Constituencies on service delivery”.
  2. Public Hearings
  3. Committees regional Visits

b) Civic Education, “Imparting Parliamentary Knowledge”

This program is conducted by officials from the Division: Research and Information Services of both Houses and is aimed at disseminating the parliamentary information to the public and to improve their understanding of Parliament, governance and democracy.

The Program consists of the following:

  1. School Program
  2. Participation in Tertiary Education and Regional Education Career Fairs
  3. Participation at  Local Trade Fairs

The principle of democracy is that people should have a say in what happens and what is decided. It is by participating in democracy that they play their role as citizens of the country. Public participation gives people opportunity and power to influence and understand the decisions that affect their lives.

The Namibian public remains apathetic towards the legislature and rarely participates in the law-making process, hence the importance of Parliament to engage the public through a strategic and well-thought public education programme in order to empower the people with the necessary information that will enable them to participate in decision-making and be active stakeholders in the law-making processes.

The Mandate

The Divisions: Research and Information Services are responsible for conducting tours of Parliament and civic education activities, by promoting and disseminating educational information to the public.

Different outreach programs have been designed and conducted by the Parliament of Namibia since – 2000. These include:

  1. School- Education program
  2. Tertiary Education Campuses program
  3. Participation at Local Trade and Career Fairs